Allegrone Design-Build Team takes Western MA AIA on a tour of Bousquet Mountain

June 12, 2024

Our Design-Build team had the pleasure of leading the Western Massachusetts chapter of the AIA on a tour of Bousquet Mountain’s new ski lodge.

Anthony Allegrone, Director of Design, led the tour of the building and shared insights into the design and the challenges faced in completing this 11-month, fast-tracked construction project.

“Our team tries to capitalize on innovation and creativity, while prioritizing practicality and feasibility to build the project,” Allegrone explains. “Our clients trust us to be upfront about what they can and can’t achieve as early as possible.”

Initially, a large single-story building was imagined. However, given the program, square footage, and the impeded location of the two existing ski lifts, the solution was to build upward rather than expand outward. During the design process, it was important to leave enough space at the base of the mountain for skiers to gather and for snow to drain when it melted.

However, a two-story building also posed its own challenges regarding operations and how visitors in heavy ski gear navigated the building. Accessibility and circulation were key priorities in the design. The position of the elevator, commercial kitchens, and restrooms were dominant uses that were suited to the first floor. Additionally, first-aid medic and additional storage are in the basement. The walk-out conditions that frame the exterior allow the ski team to quickly access their snow mobiles and provide aid on a dime, with easy transport to the basement floor medic space.

In addition to circulation, the design prioritizes a line of sight to the beautiful mountains that all Berkshire skiers come annually to enjoy. Whether you are on the first or second floor of the building, the large feature windows allow for ample amounts of light and visibility to the mountains.

“If you bring your kids here and you’re a parent who wants to go get food or grab a drink, then you’d want to be able to see your kids having lessons on the bunny hill,” Allegrone explained.

Stepping through the large entrance doors, the tour group was introduced to a spacious and open first floor that can be used for a variety of events. Whether the space needs to cater to hungry skiers that want a snack break from riding the mountain, or formal events such as weddings, or large capacity events like a summer concert, the space is equipped with durable floors and advanced heating/cooling systems that keeps its guests comfortable. “We haven’t had a complaint so far,” teased Joseph Simon, Allegrone Co. Project Manager for the ski lodge.

The most notable design element of the interior of the building is the ceiling’s exposed trusses with steel webbing. The dark color palette and the combination of wood and steel are a subtle expression of an industrial atmosphere.

The industrial elements are carried through to the second floor, which is the primary gathering space with the focal point being the bar and a perfect view of the mountain slopes. The rooms were designed with flexibility in mind; the sliding doors allow for the option for private dining. Inside the dining area, the large windows, with independent sills, can open up to 90 degrees to allow fresh mountain air to flow in and bridge the indoors with the outdoor upper deck.

A “big program, packed in a small space” sums up the ambition that went into designing and building Bousquet Mountain’s new ski lodge.

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