Gacek Design Group - Designing a Castle
Set in the Canyon’s exclusive Colony neighborhood, THE CASTLE offers guests a private enclave in Park City. Reminiscent of a Medieval European castle, the design is classically Gothic with its pointed arches, diamond leaded glass, and quatrefoil detail. Its presence is majestic on the mountain, a grand castle intended to impress and dominate the landscape. The gray granite stonework on the exterior façade immediately transforms you to present day, where a fortified architectural structure becomes an environment for world-class mountain living.
Gacek Design Group, leading interior design and architectural consulting firm, partnered on the project to transform the vast space while keeping the Gothic architectural details highlighted. The design objective to modernize the 15,350 square foot interior to a livable, comfortable environment resulted in a clean-lined aesthetic with finely appointed finishes. Our design style, Refined Gothic, will be mindful of details and reinforce them throughout the design story.
Gacek Design Group begins the design concept phase by evaluating historical research to focus on the foundation, the structure of the castle, and its significance in architectural history. Research tells a story of how the aesthetic of one’s residence became important, and the castle's appearance and size reflected the prestige and power of those who lived there. A medieval castle was the fortified home of an important person, such as a king or a noble. Wealth and status in society continue to define the affluent demographic, their lifestyle, and how they will live in the home today. Understated elegance is what we envision for THE CASTLE. As Aesthetics play a role in the medieval period, fashion consisted of long flowing elaborate gowns, hose with pleated, skirted jackets, knightly armor, furs and robes. Clothing was generally made of woolen fabrics and linen. We can interpret this style of dress to materials and textiles as well as geometric shapes in the design. It’s also interesting to note that an introduction to a divinely inspired, ecclesiastic style, was prevalent among the time of the Crusades. The red cross on a Crusader’s uniform is reminiscent of THE CASTLE’s stained- glass window detail. We interpret this as relevant by creating a story of a family embarking on their own crusade to THE CASTLE, an expedition to relax in a ski and snowboarding retreat to experience Utah’s famous powder.
Gothic architecture transformed churches, cathedrals and castles by creating opportunities for natural light and detailed interiors. As structures grew in height and grandeur, Gothic architectural features like the pointed arch, flying buttress and ribbed vaulted ceilings, not only supported the structure but also offered an element of opulence. The quatrefoil, an architectural element that is significant in history and popular today, is the ancient symbol for good luck. The shape of a quatrefoil from the Gothic period is displayed throughout the residence in textiles, art, and accessories. THE CASTLE showcases many of the architectural details that transcend the medieval period. One significant architectural detail, the diamond shaped leaded glass windows, offer a strategically “closed off” view of the grove of aspen trees surrounding the property. This feature supports the notion of an exclusive, private retreat and reminds us of a cloister, evoking an emotion of serenity and calmness. From the interior, this seclusion influences you to be present in the space. Even though the expansive glass looks out to the beautiful mountain scenery, it is not as important that you see the view.
Beyond the architecture, the natural landscape and exclusivity of the location play an important role in the design. The goal was to highlight architectural references and draw from elements in nature to integrate the castle with its surroundings to embrace the area’s mountains, wildlife and overall natural beauty. Elements like alabaster rock, deer and elk, hides, deciduous white pine and aspen, as well as natural grasses are discovered in the natural setting. Wood elements transform interior spaces in the form of ceilings and wall paneling detail that is hand crafted from red grandis eucalyptus.
Coupled with these strong architectural details and influences from nature is a sophisticated color palette. Gacek Design Group created a color story of warmth with light taupe and soft gray tones. Accent colors were used to create an ombre effect that travels through each room. Heather purple and saturated blues are shown at the end points of the residence and get gradually lighter to the taupe and gray tones in the center spaces. THE CASTLE brings a different dimension to a typical modern ski chalet with an alpine setting.