Building community is central to our mantra of Building From Here, and working with a client that values community as much as we do usually equates to a great relationship. When that client is a pioneer of sustainability and tests algae-based skis in our Wasatch backyard, we are more than a compatible fit–we’re all in.
That's what we found in working with WNDR Alpine to design their new space, the NEST.
WNDR Alpine is a Certified B Corp that manufactures skis and snowboards and is the outdoor brand of advanced materials startup Checkerspot. They are pioneering biotechnology to design materials to create gear that outperforms conventional materials in skis and snowboards. It's a different and more sustainable approach than the industry's traditional reliance on petroleum products in the manufacturing process.
Utah is well established as an outdoor retail capital with its easy mountain access. With the ‘greatest snow on earth’ and home to the Olympic Sports Park and U.S. Ski & Snowboard Training Center, Woodward Park City, it appears that nearly all trails lead to the Wasatch.
In the Granary District in Salt Lake City, 500 West is quickly turning into Utah’s ski and outdoor row. It's the same area where Granary Campus opened earlier this year, housing outdoor lifestyle enthusiasts evo Hotel, Bouldering Project, and All Together Skatepark. One of the benefits of this area for WNDR is the zoning, which allows for the combination of manufacturing, fabrication, and headquarter uses, a combination of uses they couldn't find in other areas of the city.
With existing fabrication and manufacturing facilities located in an industrial neighborhood, the project expands WNDR's facilities into a holistic campus. Our design for the project repurposes an existing steel frame structure into an 1,800 SF lobby and retail space. We created a tighter envelope to improve the building's performance by adding insulation, a more efficient HVAC system, and daylighting. All of these upgrades make the space more comfortable. The courtyard between the buildings turns into an event space for hosting activities. It's a simple structure with substantial community benefits. Connecting with the people that use their equipment is essential to WNDR. This expansion project takes them from a manufacturing-only facility to an integrated campus experience where visitors can meet staff, tour the Design Lab, and gather for group outings, celebrations, and other activities.
We see our new NEST storefront in the Granary District as a place to educate the public about our technology, and as a gathering space for the greater backcountry community when we're hosting community events. We invite anyone in Salt Lake City who's curious about what we do to swing by and discover WNDR Alpine in person!
- Matt Sterbenz, founder