Pikes Peak Summit House Design Revealed
“It’s a great place to get a doughnut, but other than that, it leaves a lot to be desired,” Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said to laughter. He was referencing the current Summit House design to a full room gathered January 26th at Penrose House to witness the big reveal of the long anticipated new design. The Summit House’s fried donuts are well known to those who have traveled up Pikes Peak since its opening in 1960, but the old design has “outlived (its) useful life,” Mayor Struthers said.
The new design will be constructed of beetle-kill pine and Pikes Peak granite, making the new Summit House look natural to the peak from the outside, but giving visitors inside a spacious, open experience. “The challenge has really been,”commented GWWO Architect Alan Reed, “how do we balance the issue of the idea that we want a distinctive building that’s a clear destination as people arrive on the peak with a desire of having a non-building, because we really want to experience–I think we all want to experience the peak like Edwin James did, the first guy to summit, where there’s nothing there.”
CSBJ.com said about the new design:
“Nestled unobtrusively in the southeast corner of the summit plain, the low stone, steel and glass building seems to flow naturally out of the mountain. A pair of observation decks will flank the structure with unobstructed views to the east, southeast and south.
Entering the summit house from the upper level, a glass-enclosed pavilion capped with a weathered steel roof, visitors will see Mt. Rosa framed in the window to the southeast. The interior will be airy, light-filled and unobtrusive, accented with natural materials such as beetle-killed pine and granite.
Approximately one-third of the building’s exterior will be glass, with the remainder weathered steel or granite. It’s not clear whether the architects will use Pikes Peak granite, which seems like the obvious choice. In the presentation, one member of the team said that the granite used would have a smoother, more finished appearance than the summit’s native stone.
The striking visitor center is just one element of the summit complex, which will include the Army’s High-Altitude Research Laboratory, a communications facility operated by Colorado Springs Utilities and water, wastewater, electrical and heating functions essential to daily operations.
There will also be an emergency “shelter hut” on the summit for stranded hikers, although it won’t be a de facto overnight camping facility.”
Read more on CSBJ about the Pikes Peak Summit House new design: http://www.csbj.com/2016/01/27/city-unveils-summit-house-design/
Read more on the Gazette about the Pikes Peak Summit House new design: http://gazette.com/design-selected-for-pikes-peak-summit-house-will-let-the-views-take-center-stage/article/1568612