Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2010

Capstone Advisor

Richard Rosa

Honors Reader

Edward Sichta

Capstone Major


Capstone College


Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

Architectural Engineering | Architectural Technology


Over the past century skiing has experienced remarkable growth in popularity, equipment and technique. From 1946 to the present the number of ski resorts in North America with operating lifts has grown from 15 to over 600. During this time skiing has developed from a means of winter travel into a sport that combines paramilitary precision and control with leisure. Driven by economic interests and the superficial imitation of European alpine architecture the contemporary ski lodge model has failed to meaningfully address these changes and has failed to address function and context in terms of both its formal organization and expression. This has resulted in the current ski lodge model that is detached from its site and primary functions. Through a critical study and analysis of the functions of the contemporary ski lodge and their relationship to a specific site a transformation of the ski lodge typology can occur in which the ski lodge meaningfully responds to the relationship between form, function and site. This transformat­­­­ion will manifest itself in the formal, material and tectonic expression of the ski lodge.

Through the analysis of the functions of the contemporary ski lodge and their relationship to the specific site of Hunter Mountain, New York, the study of the evolution of the ski lodge typology and a graphic study of the contemporary ski boot a ski lodge was designed for Hunter Mountain, New York which critically responds to the relationship between form, function and site and attempted to address the changes which have occurred in skiing culture.

The transformation of the ski lodge manifests itself in two primary ways. The first is through a reconsideration of the current notion of the ski lodge as a single entity that exists at the base of the mountain. In order to respond to the variety of functions existing within the contemporary ski lodge and to have a more meaningful impact within the larger site of the ski area specific functions of the ski lodge have been critically dislodged from their current location at the base of the ski area and integrated throughout the entire site. These lodge fragments include a base lodge, summit observation lodge and restaurant, shelters for reflection, several observation platforms, ski patrol stations and a terrain park lodge. They are located according to existing site characteristics such topography, views, density of use, and materiality. Through a unifying formal, tectonic and material language the fragments of the ski lodge form a unified system which utilizes the site to its full potential and promotes discovery and interaction between the natural and the constructed throughout the entire site of the ski area.

The second way the thesis manifests itself is in the formal organization and expression of the lodge fragments. Primarily focusing on the design of the base lodge the formal organization and expression manifests itself as a series of fluid concrete blades, which emerge from the landscape. The form of these walls is derived from the multiple functional sequences of the ski lodge and a desire to integrate the lodge with the landscape. The programmatic spaces of the ski lodge are located between these blades to maximize efficiency and enhance the experience of the ski lodge constantly connecting the users to the landscape and the mountain beyond. A fluid shell that functions as a double skin to provide opportunities for passive ventilation in the summer as well as heat gain in the winter encloses the base lodge. This enclosure analogically references the fluid shell of the ski boot and fluid movement of the skier.

FINALBOOK.pdf (95488 kB)

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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