Boyer design denied
July 1, 2011
The proposed Summit Research Park hit a speed bump on Tuesday when the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission found few nice things to say about their submitted design plans and elected to not move forward with the approval process.
The Boyer Company’s research park is slated to occupy 89 acres behind the Utah Olympic Park and Wal-Mart near Kimball Junction. Hoping to get started on their first building by August, Boyer representatives showed their proposed design to the planning commission which would house a Park City Visitor Center as well as Boyer offices.
As the most prominent building in the research park and the closest to the highway, the planning commission wanted this building to serve as an icon for the rest of the research park and as a gateway to Park City and Summit County according to Planning Commission Chair Julie Hooker.
"We were really sold on this as a community structure and a key piece of the development," said Hooker. "This building is being used to sell the rest of the development; they should be making it the most spectacular building they can."
Boyer’s plans featured a glass tower and stucco and timber siding, trying avoiding the historical motifs as designated in the design criteria. Hooker said the building appeared too similar to New Park while planning commission member Bruce Taylor said the translucent siding would cause light pollution at night.
"When we thought of an entry monument, we didn’t necessarily think of just a building," said planning commissioner Bassam Salem.
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The architects and project managers from Boyer Company listened to feedback from the commission before questioning the specific grounds of their disapproval
"We already have building approval, now the process should just be that they make sure our design conforms to the guidelines and development codes, which it does," said Project Manager David Allen. "They reviewed this previously and we made some changes based on their design. We are really excited about this current design."
According to Allen, the developers recognize the first building needs to be done well, but they want the visitor center to be noticed and the rest of it to blend in with the background.
"At the last meeting they told us they wanted less wow from this building, now they are saying they want more wow. We are trying to set a standard with this building the rest can follow," said Allen.
The current design review and construction details have been called a breakdown in communication by the commission. According to Hooker, the developers did not have all their materials in for a complete application to be voted on and that they were trying to rush through the process in order to begin construction. Allen said that they have had a complete application for several weeks and as far as he is aware there is nothing more for them to submit.
"We are charged with the preservation of this corridor and the building design just seems lazy," said Hooker. "I think they got enough comments that said, no, this just doesn’t work."
According to Allen, they walked away from the meeting confused and unsure what specific changes were needed.
"We just got a hodge-podge of personal preferences and are probably just going to leave it as it is," said Allen.