Architecture that Sparkles: The Opening of Sparkling Hill Resort

A three-storey glass atrium is the focal point of the recently completed Sparkling Hill Resort, located on a 188-acre mountaintop site overlooking Okanagan Lake in Vernon, British Columbia. Designed by Cannon Design and featuring Stella Custom Glass Hardware, the architecture of the resort has a fluid style that respects the natural landscape and the literal “sparkle” is the result of the work of chief Swarovski Crystal designer, Andreas Altamayer, who integrated crystal elements throughout the design. A Swarovski Crystal, in fact, was the inspiration behind the original design, which is introduced in fixtures, finishings and lighting throughout the entire resort.

For the atrium, the complexity of replicating the multifaceted twinkle of crystal, in a span of over 18 meters on a mountaintop, posed significant design challenges. A larger technical design team, led by Vancouver-based Stella Custom Glass Hardware, was involved early in the design process and worked closely with Cannon Design to devise the solution. A design was created that incorporated the use of Stella’s tension cables and point-supported glass hardware to sustain more than 90 uniquely shaped pieces of glass, angled at different directions in the 3D space.

“Sparkling Hill Resort has been an interesting project for our firm. This was a unique design, and proved quite challenging; in particular, how to actually support the glass in our crystal atrium,” says Christopher Rowe, MAIBC, MRAIC, LEED AP, vice president of Cannon Design. “By adding companies like Stella to the mix we were able to complete our original vision: a structure on a mountaintop that literally sparkles.”

“Creating the complex support structure for the atrium was a challenge,” adds Roy Lamont, president of Stella Custom Glass Hardware. “What makes Stella unique is we work collaboratively with the architects and designers from the beginning of a project, so we can make the architectural vision a reality.”