UTAH – Having quickly garnered international prominence as the host of an annual leadership seminar, the Summit organisation seeks a more permanent setting on Utah’s Powder Mountain. With actress Sophia Bush, media mogul Richard Branson and TOMS shoes founder Blake Mycoskie already among its prospective homeowners, Summit Village intends to offer a year-round intellectual forum and ski retreat for some of the world’s most prestigious minds.
Portland-based firm Skylab Architecture have undertaken this project and recently laid its cornerstone, the Skylodge community and events centre. The 511-sqm structure articulates its main spaces in steel-roofed yurts, commencing what has been billed as ‘the next great American mountain town’ with an Eastern nomadic transplant. The allusion indicates both its ready assembly and rugged materials, with prefabricated modules consisting primarily of reclaimed barn wood. On-site construction was accordingly limited to pouring the foundation for and installing these modules, sparing the crews prolonged intervals in freezing temperatures and limiting traces of the process on the landscape. The triangular form of the modules further allows for dynamic spaces that deviate from a standard box. Sharp trapezoids and parallelograms housing the kitchen, bar, prep-area and bathroom lead seamlessly into the more radial polygons – the ‘yurts’ – defining the dining and meeting spaces.
The yurts afford a four-state view at approximately 2700 m in elevation while taking on Summit’s integration of the lyceum and the lodge. Sunken floors invoking a cosy campfire gathering may be raised to create a platform for lectures.