Online public survey available on options for new Pikes Peak Summit HouseFour options are being considered for the new Summit House on Pikes Peak, and the public is welcome to comment.
On this page are three representative graphics for each option, with a brief description for each. Though with different configurations, each option has 26,000 square feet, including a 200-seat dining area and gift shop.
Here is the link to a short online survey.
A design team press release clarifies that the design concepts are “preliminary schematics. Building materials, aesthetics and landscaping will be added in future concepts.” The goal in each case is for a building with good views, effective crowd dispersal and interpretive offerings, to summarize from the release.
Here are the options (text from the design team press release):
- Option 1 - Homage to Zebulon Pike and Edwin James
“Upon approach to the summit, visitors take in the expansive and pristine views, just as Zebulon Pike saw and Edwin James experienced. The only indication that this peak has been touched by man is the understated entry, which emerges from grade and is
"For those arriving via car, the view to Mt. Rosa is framed in the distance as one enters the Summit House. Visitors can then walk on the roof terrace to take in the view just as James would have years ago.
"Those arriving via Cog train enter the Summit House and ascend a grand stair to bring them to the top of the peak.
"The one-story scheme is built into the mountaintop on the southeast corner of the site, away from the peak's most dramatic viewsheds, and is essentially a non-building.”
Option 2 - The Outcropping
“Reminiscent of the crags and rock formations found above the tree line, the design of this option uses shade, shadows and fragmentation to blend into the summit.
"As a two-story form nestled into the northeast side of the mountain, it is minimally impactful on the land. Viewed from below, this option blends seamlessly with the mountain, yet as one arrives
"Upon entering the two-story lobby, visitors are treated to an expansive and spectacular view down the mountain.
"Those arriving via the Cog train will enter on the ground floor of the lobby and be drawn through the building in order to experience the views from both levels.
"In this option, interpretation and the gift shop are located on the second floor and the dining area, restrooms and support spaces are located on the first floor.”
Option 3 - Biomimicry - Learning from Nature
“Similar to the flora and fauna that inhabit Pikes Peak above the tree line, Option 3 is derived from the natural forces prevalent at the peak. Like the lichens and tundra vegetation, this option takes full advantage of solar orientation and is
"Located on the northeast corner of the site, this aerodynamic structure is clearly a destination. As visitors walk towards the Summit House from the parking lot area they are shielded from the peak's most dramatic views, but as they enter on the second level, they are treated to a spectacular vista of the distant mountains.
"A balcony that extends over the Cog approach on the east offers an unprecedented panoramic view. The Cog arrives below, dropping off visitors on the first level where they have access to the gift shop and restrooms.
"The second level houses the dining area and interpretation.”
Option 4 - Geomorphology
“Geomorphology - noun; the study of the characteristics, origin, and development of landforms.
"Mimicking the way in which
"Located to the north, this option respects critical viewsheds to the east and west and is unseen from Colorado Springs.
"Upon approach, the magnificent view to the north is framed by the two-story lobby of the Summit House and High Altitude Research Laboratory building, focusing one's attention to the mountains beyond.
"Experienced in the same manner whether one arrives by car, Cog, bike or foot, visitors may choose to visit the actual summit or take in the aforementioned view prior to entering the Summit House. In addition, visitors are given an opportunity to ascend the roof of the lobby space - essentially the highest point on the peak - to experience a 360-degree view of the summit.
"In this option, the gift shop and restrooms are located on the second level with the dining area and interpretation located below.”
The decision on which option to go with will be made by the design team sometime before spring, based on the project timeline. The team consists of city staff and consultants, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine and Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU). The plan is to “design and build a new summit visitor center on one site and consolidate a plant building, CSU communications facility and high-altitude research laboratory on the second site,” according to the project website.
The current Summit House at the 14,115-foot peak is about 50 years old and needs to be replaced because of deterioration, according to city officials.
The design contract is being funded through operational funds from Pikes Peak-America's Mountain, the city enterprise that manages the Pikes Peak Highway and the Summit House. The facility receives no tax dollars or support from the general fund, pointed out its manager, Jack Glavan.
The design contract cost “is estimated to be $1.5 to $2.4 million depending upon the various task orders and negotiations for each phase of the project,” he said. “Depending upon the design option selected, the U.S. Army and CSU might contribute design funds for their buildings or spaces.”
No estimate has been provided yet for the construction cost. The schedule proposes project completion by 2017.
The four design options were presented at a public meeting in October.
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