Case Study

Edison House A Lifestyle Hub in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City, Utah

The Challenge

Edison House challenged HKS to design a home for their contemporary brand of social club in Salt Lake City. The project needed to reflect the Edison House brand, relate to Salt Lake City’s central business district and historic Warehouse District neighborhood and deliver a vibrant, enriching social experience to club members.

Prior to construction, the site was a vacant brownfield for more than two decades. It is surrounded on three sides by a parking garage that serves an adjacent condominium building adapted from an early 1900’s-era warehouse. The neighboring structure led to zero-lot-line construction on three sides of the site, which limited daylight access at Edison House almost exclusively to the western facade. Building services, such as loading, were also limited to the western facade. The small site posed a challenge to the project’s ambitious program.

The Design Solution

Locally manufactured brick used on the exterior and interior of Edison House references the club’s location in Salt Lake City’s historic Warehouse District. In contrast, the building’s metal panels embody a contemporary expression that connects with the city’s nearby downtown central business district.

The western façade of the 3-story structure features fixed, perforated metal screens; bi-folding perforated metal screens; lift-and-slide doors and ceramic fritted glazing. The layered design allows large sections of the façade to be fully open, partially open or closed, depending on weather conditions and programming needs.

The bi-folding metal screens provide a unique, kinetic aspect to Edison House. The design team studied off-the-shelf products and found none of the available systems met the scale and function needed for the club. Working closely with the general contractor and an experienced trade partner, the team developed a large-scale, lightweight, easy-to-operate custom solution that became the focal point of the building. The dynamic aesthetic exhibits the club’s inner vitality.

The screens serve a dual purpose, as visual elements and thermal controls. During the summer, the closed screens reduce undesirable solar heat gain. In the winter, the screens can be opened to take advantage of the warmth of the sun. The large lift-and-slide doors allow for natural ventilation throughout the year, for user comfort and the potential to reduce annual energy consumption by up to 25%.

The Design Impact

Edison House showcases how private establishments can be equitable, diverse and inclusive. Through intentional vision, design and programming, the club is a shared space, a community inclusive of all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations and age groups.

Architecturally, private social clubs have traditionally kept a low profile in the urban fabric to protect the privacy and exclusivity of their members. The design of these clubs did little for their communities by concealing their program and functions behind solid facades and secret entrances. Edison House reinvents the social club typology by creating a building that celebrates inclusion with a welcoming and dynamic façade that activates the street.

With a capacity of 2,000 members, the club had 1,000 members on opening day in December 2022, with another 2,000 on the wait list.

Project Features

  • 100-seat restaurant
  • Private dining and wine room
  • Café and co-working lounge
  • Fitness center
  • Speakeasy performance lounge
  • Jazz parlor
  • Sports bar and grill
  • Private karaoke room
  • Billiards room
  • Ballroom
  • Sky lounge and outdoor theatre
  • Open-air pool deck and terrace
  • Rooftop bar