Modernism a Trend in Resort Design

General / People / Places / November 6, 2015

It’s time to bid adieu to log cabins and post-and-beam construction for mountain living.

The up-and-coming trend now is toward a new and modern architecture.

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson is exploring the concept at Lake Tahoe. And now Scott Lee of SB Architects in San Francisco is designing and building his own interpretation in Park City, Utah.

“We want to achieve more light with more glass and more open plans with a more contemporary look,” he says. “The old designs are all about hip roofs, gable roofs and a barn style of architecture with smaller windows and smaller rooms inside.”

At Nicklaus Village in the new residential community of Promontory – sited along a new 18-hole course by Jack Nicklaus – his firm has designed four prototype modernist homes ranging from 2,500 to 4,700 square feet. When finished, the village will total 18 light-filled, vista-oriented residences.

“These roofs slope up rather than down, for views of the vast open space to celebrated in the landscape,” he says. “There are views of the golf course that are part of view plane – and the Wasach Mountain Range.”

The client, a developer who’d seen the firm’s presentation on modernism at a Urban Land Institute conference, challenged them to take four traditional floor plans and give them a contemporary look. “They said: ‘Take those floor plans and redesign them with the same square footage,'” he says. “‘Make them for today’s buyer – a little more youthful and experienced with modern design.'”

And so they did, with a fairly simple design palette of steel, wood, glass and plaster that yields a definitely up-to-date touch. “We’re seeing a trend, whether mountains, beach or desert, to move beyond the traditional in those environments,” he says. “We envision a crispness and a new approach with a new feel that’s appropriate for those locations.”

And one that opens up to the world outside, as well.



Photography by Allen Kennedy

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Michael Welton
I write about architecture, art, and design for national and international publications. I am the author of "Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand" (Routledge, 2015), and the former architecture critic for the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.

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