The new Humbird hotel at Schweitzer redefines destination mountain architecture. Located in the heart of Schweitzer village, it is set within the Rocky Mountains of northern Idaho at the nexus of two distinct ranges, the Selkirk and Cabinet Mountains, offering easy access to a wide variety of seasonal recreation activities. To help restore the village concept, the 31-unit, 66,580 sf, hotel is strategically placed among a disparate group of older buildings with the purpose of transforming the predictable resort experience into a newly invigorated, European-inspired mountain village. By siting the building in such a way, the collection of structures are now united by narrow walkable streets and knit together multiple covered parking areas. Care was taken to orient the lodge with spectacular views of Lake Pend Oreille. The result is a ski-in, ski-out hotel providing essential arrival services and on-slope accommodations to re-frame Schweitzer as a year-round destination for the 21st century. Seattle urbanite meets Idaho ski bum.
The new hotel and restaurant anchors the village. The barbell-shape takes advantage of the steep site by nestling into a notch cut into the slope creating space for a sheltered parking garage, which is essential in a location that gets up to 400 inches of snow a year. The exterior of the hotel is expressed through board formed concrete, metal panels, large expanses of glass, and glimpses of the wood ceilings inside. Structural elements are evident and highlighted to enhance the sense of enclosure and warmth inside the lodge. The palette draws upon the architectural heritage of the Schweitzer basin.