Architect: Architectural Design Consultants, Inc.
Owner: CBK Lodge, LP
Contractor: Muermann Engineering
This articulated structure conforms to the curving, undulating site while accommodating four major facility functions within a single structure, maximizing scenic views and crafting an alpine ski lodge aesthetic – all within a challenging budget. the design creates a sense of grandeur in group gathering places such as lobby and conference center juxtaposed against pockets of compressed intimacy at bars and food venues where conversations and relaxation are meant to be expressed. The choice of materials provide extreme durability, yet remains true to the fanciful “Sire Kartrite” explorer story, which the themed elements of the resort enforce. Guest units provide a “comforts of home” space by use of nooks and crannies, deeper colors, accents and homey features. With over 24 unit types, guest rooms provide a range of experiences over many visits.
Camelback Lodge offered tremendous potential while presenting significant technical and architectural design challenges. The first challenge was site topography – a curving mountaintop surrounded by steep slopes. The solution was to not fight the site, but embrace its serpentine qualities. A highly irregular-shaped building design incorporates many angled and radiused components to articulate the curves of the mountaintop parcel. Doing so added significant complexity to the structure, but resulted in a building perfectly adapted to its location. Additionally, vertical undulations were utilized to allow four floors to be at-grade at various points along the length of the structure. This provided opportunities for creative interior layouts that would otherwise not be available with a level site. Topography inspired a building configuration solution that is beautiful, nestled into the mountain beyond and expresses consideration of the surroundings.
A second challenge was successfully integrating the new lodge with existing ski slopes. Carefully orienting the building to adjacent ski run contours allowed for a ski in/ski out food and drink venue with outdoor patio to be strategically located at one end of the lodge as a place for skiers to warm up and recharge around the gas fire pits.
Capturing the majestic views of the Poconos Mountains was paramount. Working within the constraints of the topography, key venues, such as restaurants, ballroom, spa and premium accommodations, were situated within the lodge to showcase prime vistas. Window walls and other expansive uses of glass frame those “million dollar views.”
A soaring, clam-shell shaped indoor waterpark conceived by the client presented both challenge and opportunity. Structurally, the unusual shape required balancing the desire for clear-span space against support requirements of the 1.5-acre Texlon® roof system. Overcoming those opposing demands resulted in fulfilling the potential for a dramatic, multi-story tall space covered by the largest Texlon® installation in North America.
In homage to the awe-inspiring natural surroundings and in keeping with the client’s desire for a contemporary ski lodge aesthetic, mountain-modern architectural style was infused with industrial influences. Exposed ductwork, clean lines and corrugated metal live comfortably alongside craftsman architectural details and finishes – a surprising combination of contemporary details combined with exposed timbers, dark woods, stone and an organic color palette for warm sophistication.
Arriving beneath the grand porte-cochere, guests are welcomed by soaring heights of the lobby that builds excitement with a panorama of lodge amenities. A large fireplace and other architectural details were used to reinforce the theme of exploration and adventure on a worldly scale. Camelback Lodge comforts guests, creating an environment that functions, yet its very architecture, fit and finish gives wing to a fantasy vacation – the ultimate goal.
Camelback Lodge’s design optimizes the design opportunity by harnessing potentialities of the topography, existing resort arrangement and beauty of the surrounding mountainscape to guide the design. The result is a mountaintop structure that’s perfectly suited to its setting, captures the spirit of an alpine ski lodge and fulfills the client’s goal of transporting guests to a place of adventure and exploration. The project was built at a budget of $130,000,000 in 18 months – a true feat!
Photos: Paul S. Bartholomew Photography and Camelback Mountain Resort