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WINNISOOK LODGE

CATSKILL MOUNTAINS, NEW YORK, USA (2000)


The Winnisook Lodge is located within the Catskill Park in upstate New York on a 2,000-acre private golf ing. community on the slopes of Belleayre Mountain. This 150-room luxury hotel Will be the centerpiece to a resort comprised of an 18-hole golf course, private home and golf clubhouse. The site for the hotel is a wooded ridge stretching from the summit of Belleayre Mountain just below the 18th hole. It has exposure to the north, east and south sides of the ridge offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. In order to obtain approval with the many state and local governments as well as the many environmental groups opposed to developing the area, Emilio Ambasz was asked to design a 226,000 sq.ft. building that is virtually invisible within the natural landscape while taking advantage of each possible vista to make it a premier hotel destination. To achieve this, Ambasz has designed the project into two buildings: the main building for the hotel with the restaurants, banquet facility and support facilities and a second building housing the spa and fitness center and the golf clubhouse. The main building is organized on five levels, each conforming to the natural terrain to effectively integrate the mass into the landscape with minimal excavation while approximating the original profile of the ridge. Each floor conforms to the natural contour of the ridge and steps back at each level creating roof terraces. The entire building is then blanketed with native plants which essentially make it invisible. The spa and golf clubhouse are situated in a one story structure reached from the lowest floor of the hotel. Ambasz has placed the lobby at the highest floor where guests enter into a circular motor court to reach the reception and restaurants. Arriving guests are offered breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains as they check in or while dining in two restaurants or sipping drinks in the lounge. Patios on the roof terrace offer guests the best views. The lobby continues down one level to a pre-function lounge near the banquet functions. Here, a ballroom for 200 people and three 350 sq.ft. conference rooms are located. From these spaces doors open to the outside expanding the events onto the roof terrace. At the core of the hotel is a five story skylit atrium filled with plants and waterfalls. The lower floors are reached by descending through the atrium in glass elevators. The atrium expands toward the bottom into a large space where guests may fully experience this interior landscape year-round. At each of the four guest floors, elevators open onto generous sitting areas facing the golf club and spa at the base of the hotel. These intimate spaces provide guests a chance to orient themselves within the hotel and to walk outside onto the roof terraces. From each sitting area wide corridors connect the guestrooms that wrap around the atrium. To optimize views, the guestrooms have lofty ceilings and are divided onto two levels: the sleeping area and bathroom are located a few steps above a sitting area. From their beds guests have unobstructed views of the mountains. Each room has a private terrace facing the view. At the base of the hotel lie the health spa and golf club in a structure that is reachable both from within the hotel by a covered walkway and by a. separate public entrance from a driveway. These functions are housed under a sloped, landscaped roof that is circular in plan.




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