New mixed-use facility completed in winter sports hub near Rocky Mountains
Incorporating elements of the area’s European Alpine design heritage with more contemporary forms, Solaris is a newly completed mixed-use facility nestled at the centre of luxury skiing destination Vail, Colorado. Developer Peter Knobel noted that whilst the essentially picturesque region may be a hive for budding ski enthusiasts, it lacked a proper city centre where locals and visitors alike could come together to socialise and engage in retail and entertainment activities. With the help of Barnes Coy Architects, his vision is now complete and is set to open to the public this month.
The new multi-functional ‘lifestyle centre’ is comprised of 79 separate units offering restaurants, movie theatres, bowling and ice-skating to the eagerly awaiting public. Pivotal to the project was the initiative to strike a balance between state-of-the-art technology and contemporary design, and a natural complement to the surrounding environment and legendary Rocky Mountains. As such, a large-scale window has been installed in the bar/restaurant area (as seen in the image to the left) in an effort to frame the stunning scenery so near at hand. Likewise, stone walls on either side of the window recall the canyon walls characteristic of the Colorado landscape.
Following the idea of bringing the community together and providing a communal city centre, Barnes Coy have designed an ‘elegant and inviting’ half-acre plaza to the front of the Solaris complex, to be used as a natural terminus of the axis from the International Bridge that carries skiers returning from the slopes over Gore Creek. Described by the architects as a ‘forward-looking hybrid’, the design effortlessly blends contemporary features with the traditional charm of an area that has been a magnet for tourists over the last fifty years.