When New York-based multidisciplinary firm Reunion Goods & Services embarked on the redesign of Colorado's Wildwood Snowmass Hotel, they enlisted their friends Benjamin Luddy and Makoto Mizutani of Scout Regalia as the design architects for the adjacent New Belgium Ranger Station. The duo collaborated with Reunion on the interiors, and came up with the idea of a slope-side bar and restaurant inspired by the A-frame and the National Park aesthetic. As Makoto explains, "National parks are a huge inspiration for us. We love nature and the outdoors, and the National Park system really opens up that experience for so many people. We wanted the bar to have the same feeling of warmth and discovery—a cozy space to take a break from exploring the mountain, which is literally right next to the bar." Here, they explain how they achieved the look in such a small space.
Photography by Laure Joliet.
Above: To make the space feel cozy and warm, the designers used white oak throughout. "Our biggest challenge was working with such a small square footage," Makoto says. "We needed to design a bar/restaurant that could seat over 50 people in approximately 750 square feet and still convey our design concept inspired by cabin life, national parks, and ranger stations."
Above: "Our overall design move was to create an A-frame-inspired bar as the main component of the space; it defines our concept without taking up too much space," Makoto says.
Above: The team created multi-functional pieces that serve double duty; case in point, the SR Ranger Stools feature a storage cubby under the seat to hold gear as well as a hook for hanging skiing paraphernalia.
Above: Makoto tells us, "We designed the SR Matchstick Tables to comfortably accommodate a group, with additional hooks on the underside for more storage. Every little bit counts when you're designing a small space."
Above: SR Hooks under the SR Matchstick tables for hanging gloves, helmets, and other ski gear.
Above: The herringbone wainscoting, which is meant to evoke a mountain scape, is made of beetle kill pine. "The beetle kill pine was something that we wanted to use to bring attention to the severe blight of Colorado's pine trees from the mountain pine beetle," Makoto says. "The epidemic has been catastrophic to the pine forests, but the fallen trees can be repurposed for a variety of uses. We used it for the herringbone wall treatment to demonstrate that the fallen trees can be reused in new, interesting ways."
Above: A detail shot of the repurposed beetle kill pine used as wainscoting.
Above: The exterior of the building is painted in hues of green that reference National Park colors.
Above L: The Ranger Station is located beside the ski slopes at Snowmass. Above R: One of several Belgian brews being pulled at the bar.