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HKS Architects Talk Park City Base Development


HKS is the architecture firm heading up the proposed base development project at Park City Mountain resort says an architectural redesign will be presented at the upcoming Park City Planning Commission meeting on January 20th. 


One of the biggest sticking points of the proposed development of the surface parking lots at the base of PCMR is how the buildings will interact with the surrounding neighborhoods.


Residents along Empire Avenue and 14th street have been vocal at planning commission meetings about how current mock-ups of that part of the project, called parcel B at the southernmost parking lot, obscure views and sunlight.  


Emir Tursic is an architect for the project and says he and his colleagues got the memo and will be presenting a new design for parcel B this month.


“In the last November meeting, we heard it very loud and clear from the planning commission, as well as the community, that the pedestrian and mountain view corridor, if you want, on parcel B was a very critical component of the original master plan and something that both the planning commission as well as the community wanted to maintain,” Tursic says.


The new design will include an approximately 80-foot wide opening on Empire Ave to create a viewing corridor that doubles as a pedestrian walkway.


Tursic says in order to accommodate for the opening, parking would have to be dug deeper underground and some affordable housing and residential unit density would be sacrificed on parcel B. He says the lost density would have to be made up elsewhere, likely making one of the other parcels higher due to the restrictions of the original 1998 master plan. The plan prevents development encroaching onto the mountain itself. 


“Inevitably, there is going to be some density that is a lot higher compared to the adjacent residential neighborhood as a part of that original 98 agreement, but we are doing our best to modulate the mapping and really mitigate and minimize the impact on the adjacent neighborhood,” says Tursic.


Another sticking point with the community has been the style of the proposed buildings themselves. Critics have said current mock-ups are too modern and clash with the Park City’s mountain town aesthetic.


Tommy Zakrzewski is the Director of Integrative Energy Engineering for HKS and says modern architecture is not only for aesthetics, but also serves an important purpose in terms of energy efficiency. For example, strategically placing glass where sunlight could provide a natural way to generate heat during the day.


“There’s a delicate balance, especially in the climate of Park City, to really balance the amount of glass versus hard surfaces,” he says. ”When you balance those two together, putting glass where it’s best positioned to account for those passive measures, you position the project as a more efficient design. It’s a balancing act for positioning glass in the right areas.”


The new designs for the base area of PCMR will be presented at the planning commission meeting scheduled for January 20th.