Catskills Retreat

Lead Designer
ClientMitch Blake
Project LinkView
Prize(s)1st Place in Architecture Categories / Conceptual
Entry Description

The Catskills Retreat is located in Livingston Manor, New
York. The site is at the top of a small mountain overlooking
the town with distant views of Catskill National Park. The
program is for a high end resort containing 110 guest
rooms, including luxury suites, tennis facilities, swimming
pools, hot tubs, spa, squash courts, bowling alley, game
rooms, banquet and conference facilities. The resort
provides a variety of single family cottages and a series of
outdoor trails for running, mountain biking and hiking.

Utilizing sod roofs and roof gardens the hotel fits almost
seamlessly into the site reducing its visual impact in this
sensitive area. The tennis facility is set into a natural
embankment and bleachers are incorporated within the
existing slope. A service road drops below the main porte
cochere to separate public and service facilities while
preserving natural views of the property. 50% of the
parking is placed in this service drop which provides all of
the necessary employee and valet parking and places all
services, deliveries, etc. out of the public sight. Each room is
oriented toward the Catskill views and has a private roof
garden that doubles as the roof of the guest room or suite
below. Translucent glass block skylights are incorporated
into each roof garden to provide natural light into the
corridors below. The design contains 3 distinct public nodes
incorporating roof gardens and terraces for a variety of
possible venues to happen simultaneously at the resort.


Ward + Blake Architects was built on a distinctive vision: be provocative in thought, flexible in nature, and disciplined in execution. Since 1996, Ward + Blake have been creating spaces that reference the land and the history of the region while also embracing cutting-edge construction materials and techniques. We have created a working environment where the powers of innovation, smart building and creativity flourish.

Our firm is composed of twelve trained professional people including four Licensed Architects, six Intern Architects, an Interior Designer and an Office Manager. Ward+Blake Architects is organized horizontally rather than vertically, which is to say that we realize our design work utilizing the strengths of our staff members at all phases of the project. This horizontal stratification allows the principals to be involved from schematic design through construction documents, ensuring that design goals remain in focus and project objectives are obtained.

Ward + Blake believes that architecture should respond to its particular place and be a natural partner with the environment. The firm’s designs evolve from an appreciation for pragmatic solutions within the honesty of modernism. By working within the context of our rich environment and applying sustainable strategies to a wide variety of building types and project scopes, Ward + Blake designs architecture that conserves energy and natural resources while creating high performance buildings and healthy environments for the buildings occupants.

We listen carefully to the desires, goals and program of our clients. Ward + Blake has an excellent track record averaging less than 1% change orders on our commercial and educational projects.