Boasting breathtaking mountain views and surrounded by 2,000 acres of protected wilderness, Spruce Peak can hardly compete with its surroundings. Rather, the community seeks to bring the outside in, highlighting natural materials. To that end, rocks and stones sourced from Vermont and neighboring states are often incorporated into construction and design. Take, for example, marble. A metamorphic rock formed from pressurized limestone, it’s a design highlight of One Spruce Peak’s luxury units. Meanwhile, granite is ubiquitous around Spruce Peak. An intrusive igneous rock (meaning it formed when magma cooled underground), granite gets its name from its multicolored “grains” or crystals that lend themselves to copious color variations. And a compilation of fieldstone, a naturally occurring rock formed by glacial deposition, was used to construct the base area’s hub: a massive fireplace at the WhistlePig Pavilion. Here, we highlight these materials, which showcase Spruce Peak’s commitment to celebrating local beauty.
For interior designer Kim Deetjen, of Burlington’s TruexCullins, creating the perfect mountain home is synonymous with seeking ways to deepen the connection to its environment. “One of the ways we can do that is with the intentional selection of materials,” Deetjen says. When it came to designing the modern mountain aesthetic of luxury residence One Spruce Peak, she looked to the Danby marble quarry of Southern Vermont’s Dorset Mountain for a product that’s not only local but top-of-the-line, too. “It is one of the most beautiful marbles in the world,” Deetjen says. “For One Spruce Peak, we wanted to make sure we were using a premium material, and Danby marble is a show-stopper.” The marble’s unique veining contributes to its allure. Depending on where the slabs are quarried, the coloration and veining of the marble differs drastically, with grades ranging from nearly pure white to darker grays. For One Spruce Peak’s kitchen countertops and backsplash, Deetjen opted for light, bright slabs called Montclair, which are unique in that they carry a subtle pale green veining throughout. Their warmth and softness complement the units’ ample wood details, particularly the handcrafted Vermont farmhouse-style islands. The marble is also remarkably long-lasting, with a reputation that extends beyond Vermont. Slabs from the Danby quarry, which has been mined for hundreds of years, were used in the Jefferson Memorial, as well as the United Nations and Supreme Court buildings. “It’s a timeless product that has incredible durability and uniformity,” says Spruce Peak’s vice president of construction Bruce Malcolm.
Meanwhile, for Spruce Peak’s newest project, the Treehouse residences, got even more hands-on. “I actually went to the granite quarry [in Upstate New York] to decide where in the mountain they would pull the slabs from to get the color and the texture that we wanted,” she says. She landed on a granite called Mountain Green to top the Treehouse residences’ kitchen islands. “We pushed for green because of the green mountains and because it’s so unique to the stone,” Deetjen says. “We were going for a very natural palate that really connected to the outdoors and Vermont.” Additionally, granite quarried in Vermont’s Champlain Valley will be used on the exterior of the Treehouse building, constructed in a stacked linear fashion at its foundation. “As in other Spruce Peak buildings, it will be an accent at the first level of the building, where the granite connects the vertical construction to the ground,” explains Malcolm. “The design intention is to make it look like the building is coming out of the ground, to highlight the organic relation of the building to the ground.”
Set in Stone
When you set foot inside the WhistlePig Pavilion, you’re immediately enveloped by the cozy warmth of an enormous fireplace, which is arguably the heart of Spruce Peak’s après- ski scene. And if you can peel your eyes away from the raclette melting perfectly over the flames, you’ll be equally mesmerized by the stonework itself. According to Matthew Karlin, the Stowe- based independent contractor tasked with building the fireplace, its structure is one-of- a-kind. “For one, the fieldstone is all native to Vermont,” Karlin says. In addition, the sheer size of it sets it apart. It took Karlin and his crew about two months to complete the fireplace, which met some unique structural challenges; the fact that it’s built above a parking garage meant that its original design needed to be scaled down, so a hollow cinder block was placed at its core. Assembling the stones, which seem to defy gravity as they extend skyward, was a feat requiring an artist’s touch—and the help of mortar. “Because the boulders are round rather than angular, you have to use a little creativity to get it to lock together,” says Malcolm. The fireplace’s unique positioning, set off-center in the pavilion, allows visitors to walk in a full circle around it to take in the naturally weathered cobbles before being drawn to its enormous hearth, made from a bluestone slab sourced from Pennsylvania. “The design intention was to create a rustic pavilion like what you’d find in a national park,” Malcolm says. “It pays tribute to Conservation Corps buildings, reflecting the simplicity and the heft of their heavy timbers and natural stone.” The result is an authentically down-to-earth setting, ideal for enjoying a whiskey cocktail while recounting stories of a day spent in the great outdoors.