National Ability Center - McGrath Mountain Center

Park City, Utah
Construction Cost: $6.9 million
Area / Square Feet: 9,389
Occupancy Date: October 2023

The National Ability Center is an international leader in providing adaptive outdoor recreational opportunities to individuals of all abilities and ages. Since 1995, the NAC ski and snowboard programs have operated out of a temporary location at the base of Park City Mountain Resort. The organization, which provides more than 5,400 ski and snowboard lessons each year, has long since outgrown its temporary double-wide trailer and was in desperate need of a long-term solution. 

In 2016, Architectural Nexus and Big-D Signature teamed with the National Ability Center to design a permanent home. The three organizations worked together to determine how this new building might best represent the National Ability Center’s mission of empowering individuals of all abilities by building self-esteem, confidence and lifetime skills through sport, recreation and educational programs. The stated goal of the McGrath Mountain Center project was to create “an innovative magnet that empowers and inspires movement.” In essence, it was hoped that the building would inspire participants toward physical activity, and in turn draw attention to the amazing activities facilitated by this organization. 

The resulting building sweeps upward, pointing to the nearby peaks and almost challenging onlookers to get out and experience the hills. The exposed heavy timber structure hearkens to familiar surrounding architecture but does so with a modern twist. Canted glulam outriggers reach outward from the base of the building, capturing the edge of the deep eaves above and giving the static structure a sense of movement. Ample but appropriately positioned windows not only afford program supervisors the opportunity to observe all the action at the base of the ski hill but also expose those unfamiliar to the transformational mission of the NAC.

Architect of Record

Architectural Nexus

Salt Lake City, Utah


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