Winter was still putting up a good fight when I went to shoot the brand new Smuggler’s Notch Fun Zone at the ski resort in Jeffersonville Vermont. My family started skiing at Smugg’s a couple of years ago and I was excited to get a first look at the new facility.
The building is a massive 26,000 square foot family entertainment complex built by Neagley & Chase Construction. There are two levels with features and activities that are meant to attract a wide range of ages. There’s lots of colorful features inside including a climbing wall, a ropes course, and an arcade. There are several inflatable features on the wide open second level as well as a separate loft zone with activities for younger kids.
The building is primarily steel construction but I was impressed with how much natural light was available. Natural light can be both a blessing and a curse in a space like this. Balancing the color of the natural light and the artificial light can be tricky. I also needed to focus on the construction elements of the project through all of those fun but distracting visual elements.
The Go Zone
I first focused on the climbing area in the Go Zone. An overall view gave a good one point perspective of the steel construction of the second floor bridge.
This shot provided a good sense of the scale of the building.
The first floor also contains the arcade area below and a laser tag area which I didn’t photograph.
Here’s a detail of the corrugated front of the reception desk.
The second floor was a wide open space that contained the ping-pong tables, a mini golf area, and inflatables including a giant slide, pirate ship, and obstacle course. The Littles’ Loft is an elevated area separated from the crowd that contains blocks, a bouncy house, a creative play store, and other activities for the younger set.
You can see the large windows letting all the outside light in. The dark finish on the steel ceiling required some additional lighting so that some of the nooks and corners didn’t go completely black. In such a large space I found myself covering a lot of ground remotely firing flashes!
While not as sexy, I always like to get a detail shot or two of some of the infrastructure like the plumbing, wiring or hvac. When these systems are very intentionally designed for new construction they create very graphic visuals. Plus the tidiness is just candy for my brain. #typeA
The second floor also contains a couple of conference rooms that can be used for both professional events or birthday parties.
Here’s the shot I grabbed of the exterior with plenty of snow still lingering.
I hope I get the chance to return for a more “hands-on” experience with the kiddos!
Stina Booth is a commercial architecture photographer based in northern Vermont available to shoot in Vermont and throughout New England. Services include residential, municipal and commercial projects. To inquire about having your project photographed contact me.
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