Schweitzer Mountain Resort

Client: Schweitzer Mountain Resort

Location: Sandpoint, Idaho

Completion Date: 2020

Size: 66,130 sq ft

The new Schweitzer Mountain Resort Hotel will reinterpret the existing historic architecture with a design approach that transforms what has become predictable into a newly invigorated modern mountain architecture and village. Seattle urban meets Idaho ski bum.  

The 30 unit, 66,130 sq ft hotel complex will interpret familiar forms and bring them forward through a mix of contemporary materials. The result will be a ski-in, ski-out hotel that will provide essential arrival services and on-slope accommodations to reframe Schweitzer Mountain as a year-round destination for the 21st century.

The new welcome center hotel will be composed of three unique buildings, a signature hotel, an adjacent ski locker storage building, and a stand-alone dining facility that together will anchor the Schweitzer Resort Village. The bar-shaped hotel takes advantage of the steep site by nestling into a notch cut into the slope creating space for a sheltered parking garage. The exterior of the hotel is expressed through board-formed concrete, exposed wood structure, metal panels, and large expanses of glass. Structural elements are exposed and highlighted to enhance the sense of enclosure and warmth inside the lodge. The palette draws upon the architectural heritage of Schweitzer Basin, yet employs state-of-the-art materials (including cross-laminated timber, also called CLT) building on mountain architecture construction techniques to modernize and heighten connections to the outdoors. Found materials, including remnant chairlift cables among other items, will be repurposed as part of the building.

Guests will arrive at the hotel via an upper-level lobby and welcome center or through the below-ground parking area. Once inside, the building the interiors draw inspiration from classic ski equipment and the bright ski suits of the 20th century, integrating materials such as granite, basalt and Douglas fir. The primary gathering spaces, oriented toward Schweitzer Mountain, will feature an exposed wood structure composed of CLTs supported by glulam beams and columns. CLT construction was selected for its inherent beauty, sustainability, structural properties, connecting with the history of mountain architecture. This approach to articulating the structure will also be employed for the dining area and ski locker warming hut. Skiers can seek refuge from the slopes in the 50-seat restaurant or in separate bar and lounge areas. Guest rooms are arranged over four floors offering views of nearby Lake Pend Oreille. Balancing the hotel at the opposite end will be the hotel’s “living room,” a place for families to relax and play games, and a rooftop space will contain a spa with hot tubs and an outdoor shower. They will also have access to an outdoor rooftop terrace gathering space on fair-weather days.

By bringing together traditions and materials into a contemporary expression of mountain architecture Schweitzer Mountain Resort Hotel can shape the identity and experiences of local ski culture-defining luxury getaway mountain architecture.