Horizon Neighborhood: Sustainable Living on Powder Mountain
Welcome to Horizon Neighborhood, a breathtaking and innovative community nestled at 9,000 feet elevation on Powder Mountain, Utah. Designed by Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, this unique neighborhood consists of 30 custom cabins, embodying a perfect blend of unity and variety.
As an architectural expression of Summit Series’ values, Horizon is more than just a ski resort – it’s a haven for entrepreneurs and creatives working together to address global challenges. Discover the beauty and ingenuity of Horizon Neighborhood, where nature, design, and community converge.
About Horizon Neighborhood
Horizon: A Pioneering Neighborhood at 9,000 Feet
Horizon, the first pre-designed neighborhood at a 9,000-foot elevation on Powder Mountain, Utah, features 30 cabins ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 square feet (93 to 279 square meters). The neighborhood also includes strategically placed garages and a communal lodge, the ‘Pioneer Cabin,’ for homeowners’ use. Buyers can choose from four typologies that either follow the contours like mountain goats or project off the mountainside like extreme skiers. Each cabin is then customized for its owner. This strategy, combined with the dramatic topography, creates a neighborhood with a strong sense of unity and variety. The first eight cabins are complete, and construction is underway on subsequent units.
An Architectural Expression of Summit’s Values
Commissioned as a home base for Summit Series, an ambitious speaker program that attracts a community of innovators and social impact investors, this new village embodies Summit’s values of community building, climate responsiveness, and land stewardship. Unlike a typical ski resort, Horizon is a planned community for entrepreneurs and creatives working together to address global challenges.
Fostering Community and Privacy
The cabins are designed to maximize both community and privacy by aggregating them around courtyards, promoting chance meetings and social interactions. The experience of passing from garages to units and under bridges is like a game of ‘Snakes and Ladders’. The buildings and bridges are carefully positioned to minimize views into neighboring units while framing unobstructed southwest sunset views.
Climate Responsive and Environmentally Conscious Design
Climate responsiveness starts with passive solar orientation and includes thermal mass concrete floors and hydronic in-floor heating. The steel stilts make the buildings light on the fragile high desert landscape. Protected courtyards create micro-climates in an otherwise open, windswept landscape. The dense neighborhood allows the majority of Powder Mountain’s 11,500 acres to remain undeveloped, conserved for future generations.
‘Heritage Modern’: A Contrast to Excessive Architecture
MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple’s modest cabins contrast with the excessive architecture typical of resorts in the Mountain West. Each cabin features a cedar-shingled roof and vertical shiplap cedar walls inspired by the cedar-clad barns of the Eden valley below. Aluminum-clad wood windows and cedar interiors complete the monolithic sculptural effect dubbed ‘Heritage Modern’ by the clients. Due to the high annual snowfall, the cabins are accessed on the second floor via steel bridges.
MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple’s Expansion into the United States
This project marks MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple’s first completed project in the United States since opening a satellite studio in Denver. The practice is known for drawing on regional building practices and material culture, and looking to local climate and landscape, to create responsive contemporary architecture with archetypal qualities and universal resonance. Similar village-making projects include a collection of cabins on Bigwin Island in Muskoka, Ontario, Golden Groves at Margaree in Cape Breton, and Shobac Farm in Nova Scotia, on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.
Photography by Doublespace Photography
Visit Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects- by Matt Watts