As we’re all discovering, Summer 2020 is like no other summer any of us has been through before.
Most of us are experiencing a touch of wanderlust and each of us could use a decent vacation right now! At least for now, why not take a quick Virtual Road Trip with us? Perhaps this series will provide inspiration for planned stops on your own Great American Road Trip when it’s safe to do so again.
Since its inception, Bull Stockwell Allen has specialized in recreation and resorts and has worked in some of the most beautiful parts of the world – stunning, special, sacred sites that stir souls and help people disengage from day-to-day vexations and re-engage with what matters.
That’s why we decided to put together OUR version of a road trip for that last gasp of summer. Get your playlist ready, put together a stellar snack selection, and plot your course cross-country!
Let’s begin in the West.
The Point Reyes National Seashore just north of San Francisco is one of the country’s most gorgeous areas, with miles of trails – many right on the coast. There’s even a stunning lighthouse to walk to (but make sure to take a jacket.) But consider starting your visit with a trip to the Bear Valley Visitor Center. While it’s currently closed, it usually houses exhibits that showcase the coastal ecosystem and cultural heritage of the area.
Bull Stockwell Allen’s founder – Henrik Bull – designed the Visitor Center at what was the newest national park (at the time). Sensitive to the area and its heritage, Henrik wanted the building to feel like it had always been there, recall an agrarian structure that might have been on site for 100s of years. In the interior, Henrik also found a way to incorporate ADA regulations in an imaginative way – integrated with the exhibits.
This simple award-winning design evolved from a desire to have the building “feel and look like it has always been there.” The 7,500 sf visitor center’s program includes interpretive exhibits, ranger station, restrooms, bookstore, and an auditorium for audio-visual presentations.
Showcasing the diversity of the West Coast’s outdoor options, there’s also beautiful Pebble Beach – land of endless ocean vistas, charming towns, a world-class golf course, and the famous award-winning, crowd-pleasing Inn at Spanish Bay.
Our concept drew its inspiration from the sensitive dune environment characteristic of California’s Pebble Beach. Working closely with the California Coastal Commission, the resort was laid out in order to minimize its visual and environmental impact. The low-slung roof forms echo the dunes and the color palette was drawn directly from the site. The resort’s successful relationship to its landscape reinforces a “sense of place” and exemplifies the positive result of sensitive development working in tandem with environmental interests. The Inn at Spanish Bay is regularly voted by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine as one of the world’s top destination resorts.
Head inland a couple of hundred miles, and you’ll find yourselves at glorious Yosemite National Park. There’s plenty to do there – hiking, climbing, stargazing, winter skiing, camping, or staying in its famed lodges and cabins.
On the Can’t-Miss list is Glacier Point, an overlook with heart-stopping views of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Yosemite’s high country. But it wasn’t always that way. Recognizing the importance of our National Park resources, Bull Stockwell Allen designed the new visitor facilities to replace existing structures that actually blocked the arriving visitor’s view of Half Dome and the park’s spectacular Yosemite Valley. The new facilities were designed to keep with the traditions of western National Park architecture and are both constructed of locally available materials, including sparkling Sierra Nevada granite and heavy timber. The new facilities’ area totaled approximately 4,000 square feet and included landscaping amenities and extensive site restoration efforts.
While you’re there, don’t miss the meditative and soul-stirring Glacier Point Amphitheatre, which hosts star gazings, proposals, weddings, swearing-in ceremonies.
Mt. Rose is a lesser-known gem in the Sierras, but it shouldn’t be! It boasts Tahoe’s highest base elevation, at 8240 feet. Have a hike or ride a horse, then find your way to the stunning Winter Creek Lodge on the edge of Slide Mountain overlooking the expansive Washoe Valley 4,000 ft. below.
Our award-winning design captures the dynamic and rugged natural beauty found at Tahoe’s highest base. Building on the modern aesthetic, the Lodge features shed roofs and a large glass façade bringing the outside in and offering visitors commanding panoramic views of the mountain and Washoe Lake. A large deck with fire pits and outdoor seating provides more opportunities to take in the lake views and action on the slopes. The lodge includes a new 150 seat restaurant and bar plus seating for up to 400 on deck – making it a perfect place for special events.
Next up: The Southwest and Mountain West