- westwall lodge
mt. crested butte, colorado
- WestWall Lodge is the flagship of the Mt. Crested Butte Renaissance. Nestled at the very base of Crested Butte Mountain the building includes 44 private residences, a private club and support facilities and literally wraps around the base terminal of the T-bar ski lift. This development blends synonymously into its natural surroundings and is designed to take full advantage of the sites amenities. The sun, views, landscape, topography, and skiway access were all major factors in molding the final design.
The architecture and materials recall the indigenous ranch and mining buildings, which dot the landscape around the Crested Butte area. The exterior material pallet ofstone, wood, reclaimed timbers and metal is carried into the interior finishes of the project, creating a smooth and seamless transition from exterior to interior. At its heart is a grand lobby that pulls all of the experiences and feelings of this area into one setting and provides a stunning view of the peak of Crested Butte Mountain.
I acted as project manager during the final construction document, permit and construction phases of this iconic project. I also managed and designed numerous changes for unit buyers prior to and during construction. These ranged from minor cosmetic changes to full-blown unit reconfigurations. I also designed and managed the creation of the private club amenities to fill a tenant shell space left in the original design and designed an outdoor pool terrace for use by the members.
Client: Eagle Resort Development
Reference: Dan Fitchett (970.471.1208)
Completion Date: 2006
Project Area: 251,831 sf
Construction Cost: $34 million
General Contractor: Haselden Construction
- Original concept and sales rendering above and a similar view of the completed project below.
- Colorado Real Estate and Construction Review feature article.
- Civil Site Plan. Two of the key project constraints can be seen in this drawing. First, as a condition of approval from the town of Mt. Crested Butte, the project had to provide a bus stop and public access through the property to the West Wall Ski Lift. The design team used this requirement to solve the second constraint which was to provide surface overflow storm drainage coming off the ski mountain. Should the snowmelt or a storm overwhelm the underground drainage and create a surface flow it will be directed under a bridge between the A and C buildings along the path of the skier access, across the road and into an existing ravine.
The buildings were oriented such that the arrival court, front door and lobby form an axis directed at the peak of Crested Butte mountain. Significant grade on the site meant that the ground floor of the C building at its eastern edge was two stories above the lobby level.
- Lobby Level Construction Issue Floor Plan for the A building. Living room exterior walls were skewed relative to the orthagonal building walls in order to compensate for building bends and re-orient toward the primary mountain views. They also provide access to outdoor decks that are located to the side of the great room and therefore their guardrails do not obstruct those views.
- During construction the Owner requested design studies for optional configurations of the public spaces and amenities. The concept plan shown above was refined into the final built configuration. The ski valet was deleted and the bar and exercise room was expanded in the final scheme.
- Another option studied was the insertion of two additional fee simple units in place of the bar and a reduced skier and locker facilities. Although functional, the units were limited to existing window openings and their proximity to exterior circulation and the public lobby and terrace. We ultimately recommended against this approach, but it was a useful study for the Owner.
- Concept design sketch for the lobby fireplace done for the Owner during the redesign process. A photograph of the finished area is below.
- The Owner also requested a change during construction to add a pool and reconfigure the exterior gathering spaces. This was the first concept sketch and the design that was ultimately selected. The pool was added along with a fire pit and outdoor seating for the bar.
- This plan depicts a proposal request level study for the contractor showing the area of snowmelt in the contract documents and the area of desired new snowmelt for pricing purposes. Since the building boiler had been installed at this point, understanding the system capacity and cost was crucial in order to proceed with the design.
- Final design concept for the fire pit seating.
- A typical enlarged unit plan construction document sheet. Unit C205 (on the right side of the sheet) is located at the very eastern end of the C building with unobstructed views of the ski run and Crested Butte mountain. This unit was ultimately completely reconfigured by the buyer as you will see below.
- Concept level sketch of the C205 requested buyer changes. What was a covered patio/deck was enclosed by this plan and captured as livable space. This change required coordination to ensure that waterproofing and mechanical systems were similarly upgraded.
- Other Buyer changes involved what seemed to be only cosmetic changes. However, this buyer requested change expanded the presence and size of the fireplace in one of the penthouse units and ultimately required structural reinforcement to carry the additional stone.
- Another penthouse unit buyer wanted to completely rearrange their unit (Unit A405 seen above in mirrored form on the original construction documents). The buyer wished for their living room to have the view given to the master bedroom and vise versa. Construction was well under way when this request was received.
Below is the concept plan provided to the buyer and the one ultimately built and occupied. The primary design challenge was the long entry hallway resulting from the new living room position. To avoid a tunnel effect and to provide a visual break and destination, the kitchen peninsula was extended into the axis and serves to visually shorten the distance.
The original great room had a balcony, for which the steel had already been set. A structural review indicated that the existing columns could not support a cantilever balcony at the new great room location without significant reinforcing along their entire length. The solution was to recess the exterior window wall and reconfigure the floor to create a small, but usable balcony.