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Spirit Lodge

White Spirit Lodge is Big White's most impressive single family home.

White Spirit Lodge

The vision for this home was to create a Christmas Village feeling illuminating the slopes of Big White and to embrace the cozy ski chalet atmosphere.


The homes interior design revolved around the massive red cedars that are many centuries old.  This child hood fantasy sets off an illusion of walking through a mysterious forest on a granite glass pond and pathway of stone laid pebbles.  With a gasping entrance you are propelled into the central great room to the expansive views and to warm up around the towering three storey stone fireplace.


Each room offers tranquility and a therapeutic experience that can be attributed to the red cedars and a doorway to the past.  The magnetism of this homes features are beyond imagination propelling you to the next wonder!   With the seamless connection to nature you are reminded to sit back, relax and enjoy.


Every aspect of this 10,000 square foot home is breathtaking and intentionally designed around the massive cedar logs that 27 semi trailers delivered from Williams Lake.  Many of these logs have been rescued and salvaged from storms, oceans, and fires.   Each log was hand scribed to reveal the true beauty and eternal history of the tree.  With each log carefully selected and hand placed throughout the home, enhanced up-lighting  features the red cedars timeless beauty.


The grand entrance;  an  illusion of an old forest protruding out of dark still water in the midst a central captivating hand laid  glass pebble stream. The custom carved entry and interior doors, extensive use of hand hammered metal, etched nature scenes on the glass railings and  custom wrought iron lighting propel you into the experience of being pulled to the next amazing feature.


Now, a doorway to the past;  an old world stone turret  that was strategically designed to engulf a 47 foot red soaring cedar with a 5 foot diameter base.  Encircling this inspiration is a curved stone and hand crafted timber staircase.


The painted suede Ralph Lauren walls, custom log beds, furniture, accessories and electronic window treatments were done all in earth tones, and of vast size, to achieve the ultimate of comfort and coziness and compliment the surrounding environment. Although the home is extreme in size, each area offers a tranquil experience to reflect with the connection of uniting the two natural environments, the home and nature, to become one.

As the friendly giant once said, “Look up, look way up”!  We stitched together elements of our childhood fantasies to create a 50 foot stone clad turret to capture the old world feel and conjure up a castle like appearance.


Centering this Turret was the inspiration of the tower, the entrancing 47 foot Red Cedar weighing 14,500 lbs.    The greatest challenge was now implementing a strategic design on how to construct with such massive sizes and proportions of this soaring stair tower.   Calculated execution went into the   turret’s crown; a distinct witch’s hat now becomes the connecting point of uniting several of the structural roof systems.

A custom made timber staircase encircles around the timeless cedar guiding you from the main floor to the upper floor with motion sensored  lighting. The Dungeness theme is captured with a granite staircase leading you from the main floor to the lower level with hidden LED lighting giving reflection of the natural elements on the circular stone pathway.

To connect this circular passageway, a continuous metal handrail was fabricated in segments and inserts of birds, squirrels, branches and pinecones were chosen along with captivating scenes of nature engraved onto glass.


To compliment the castle experience, the heaviness of charcoal rundle stone was chosen for its durability and texture to clad both the interior and exterior of the tower.  Highlighting these curved walls are three central arched windows, allowing for ambience and intended views for the grand reception of evening twilight glows.

The heart of this home was created hand in hand with Lisa Flek of Cucina Del Re, to enable conversation to easily flow and reveal a view orientated design to accentuate the seamless connection with nature.  The layout was successful in achieving expansive views of the towering three sided stone fireplace, grand entry, colossal great room, and built in wine bar.


Featured in the gourmet caliber kitchen is a double island like no other!  The two tiered curved breakfast bar with a simulating work area, of more than 20 continuous feet, allows plenty of room for prepping and entertaining.  The separate dining area and breakfast nook/morning room ponders to expansive views of Sundance ski run. The 1800 year old cappuccino bar, with a plumbed in Miele to serve you a quick cup of java, keeps functionality a priority with its convenient location.


The wolf oven was selected to compliment the ceiling -mounted custom cherry hood which presents a three dimensional carved replica of natures wonder, the Grizzly.  The copper trim not only adds dimension but also draws your attention to the copper tile backsplash that gives flare to the colour palette of soft greens, fall auburns and warm spices inspired by the outdoors.

The pull out wire pantries, soft close hardware, floating shelves and carved corbels accentuate and facilitate but do not renounce the utility to become over powered with opulence.  The ultimate aspiration was to unify the heart of the home with strength of the red cedars.


With extreme snowfalls and snow removal, slopes, erosion, short building seasons and leveling a solid rock site there were several site constraints to design around.  The environmental benefits included are the R-70 roof, Geothermal Heating and substantial triple glazed windows with a focus on east and west placement for sunlight and view exposures.  A north indigenous 200 foot retaining wall was constructed to endure the seasonal conditions and compliment the surrounding landscaping.


Tree House:  Mr. Schluessel was contacted by of one the co-creators producing a documentary on Saw Dogs, to carve and build a tree house to compliment White Spirit Lodge which aired on OLN and a few other networks in September 2011.

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