Architectural Design: Higher Ground

Project Description

The site, at the base of the Lake Whitney dam, was interpreted as a series of thresholds between key land and water forms, all differentiated in section. Ridge, field, shore, inlet, river, dam, lake, forest, hill all unfold in a short but intense sequence as one moves toward the water. Using this is a clue, this I sought to intensify existing transitions and layer new thresholds onto the site. 

A simple glass building veiled in a screen welcomes visitors with a large, flexible exhibition space, inflected against the river’s curve. A series of workshops, sheltered and linked by a similar screen, are arranged along the river. These small work spaces are accessible to artists from the water’s edge and on display for visitors via a path that rises gently toward an inlet at the base of the dam. Between the exhibition space and workshops, the landscape peels up to admit visitors to a café below. Ramps mediate between levels, extending thresholds between programs.