Minimizing the impact on the site by inharmonious structures. Restoring the site to its original state, and redesigning space to accommodate nature.
The current condition of the site lacks landscaping and the former natural landscape has been disturbed. Almost 75% of the site is covered by gravel to provide parking and roads. The existing structures on the site are a ranger’s office, a restroom, and the visitor center. These structures are disconnected and lack a relationship to each other and to the site. The vision is to first transform this current condition by restoring the natural state of the site. Some solutions that can reduce the project’s impact on the site include minimizing the square footage of the new structures; using existing soil disruption at the site to install the necessary foundations or basement; minimizing the shadow areas created by the new structures; reducing hardscape on the site aiming for 10% hardscape, and 90% softscape, which will maximize areas for new planting possibilities.
Another way to minimize the project’s impact is to maximize the performance of the building. To optimize natural light in the visitor center, and utilize the site’s natural wind flows to create natural ventilation in the building. Incorporating all the programs into one structure will solve the issue of discordant structures as currently seen on the site. The courtyard/atrium in the middle of the building will create an experience of the visitor center as being seamless with there surroundings. The ultimate goal is to create a structure that brings nature and innovation together to restore the site to its original state and to maximize the relationship between building and site.