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Final Project: Andrew Buck

June 17, 2011

Getting In It: A Landscape of Thresholds

The national representation of the tall grass prairie is at The National Tall Grass Prairie Preserve just north of Strong City, Kansas. Here the old Spring Hill ranch house and farmyards have been converted into a visitor center and historical exhibit. Bus rides, hiking trails and excursions onto the preserve are all based here. But, in order to experience the true nature of this landscape it is best to enter through a crack in the fence instead of thru the open main gate. The visitor experience must strive to recreate this feeling, the program, the architecture may not take place along someone else’s property but it can create the feeling of slipping thru a barrier, a threshold, into a different world.

Visitor Center Interior

Visitor Center Interior

Visitor Center Section

Visitor Center Section

Creekside Elevation

Creekside Elevation

Creek Side Elevation

Creek Side Elevation

Campfire Units

Campfire Units

Final Project: Kristin Rose

May 19, 2011
East and west elevations

East and west elevations

This project runs along the fence line on the Eastern edge of the preserve, creating an inhabited threshold between expansive and close horizon views, privately owned prairie and the preserve. Public spaces open on both sides of the building along extended circulation paths. These paths blur the termini of the building by continuing seamlessly into the prairie itself.

The approach

The approach

Site plan

Site plan

Plans

Plans

View to the east

View to the east

View to the west

View to the west

Guest room plans

Guest room plans

On the roof

On the roof

Final Project: James Klauder

May 19, 2011

Threading the Edge

My project is threaded along the edge condition of Fox Creek, where it is sheltered from the harsh upland prairie environment. Perched along the creek, the guest rooms look from the shelter of the trees into the tall dense grasses of a restored bottomland prairie to the west and onto the rocky prairie uplands to the east.

Site Plan

The visitors center and hotel reception is at the north, the bar of guest rooms follows the curvature of Fox Creek, and the bathhouse at the southern end is sunken into the limestone creek bank.

Lobby perspective

Vistors center lobby.

Visitors Center Plan

Visitors arrive from the parking lot in the clearing to the left. The visitors center is an alternating sequence of closed and open spaces bounded by 24-inch board-formed concrete walls. The open spaces (such as the lobby, shop, restaurant, and lounge) frame views into the surrounding grasses. The floors and ceilings are planes of varnished oak that emphasize the image of the horizon and carry the light deeper into the building. The closed spaces (such as the gallery and service spaces) do not have views but bring light in from above.

Section through shop and gallery

Section through shop and gallery

Guest room section

The guest rooms form a two-story bar of flats that follows the creek and is accessed by a boardwalk set in the restored bottomland grasses. The west façade is screened by vertical oak battens that provide a privacy screen and protect against harsh afternoon light, while the east façade consists of curtain glazing that provides clear views onto the upland prairie and refers to the shimmering water of the creek below.

Spa section

A section through the bath house. From left to right: The starlight pool, the thermal pool, and the creekview pool.

Bath perspective

The creek view pool in the bathhouse is set into the limestone creek bank. When the folding glass Nanawall enclosure is opened, the negative pool edge brings the experience of the creek directly to the bather.

See more images and information about this project at http://www.jamesklauder.com

Final Project: Yu-cheng Hsieh

May 19, 2011
The approach

The approach

Boundless Frontier

The Visitor Center located at the south of Cottonwood Falls creates opportunities to expand the Tallgrass National Preserve, and consequently bring a greater field of vision of the large-scale prairie. My concept is to lift the landscape and concentrate all side functions under the lifted space, creating a continuous view of the landscape. In addition to the view of the sunset of the prairie which is available to every room, visitors staying in the living rooms can extend their view through the guest rooms’ rooftop and eventually reach the prairie. And, not only the view is available to the visitors in the guest rooms, a direct touch of top of the tallgrass is also provided.

Concept and plans

Concept and plans

Lobby interior

Lobby interior

Guest room

Guest room

Site model

Site model

Section model

Section model

Final Project: Max Bemberg

May 18, 2011
Approach from Cottonwood Street

Approach from Cottonwood Street

The Plainstay Motel

The main goal of this project is to relocate the Flint Hills Visitor’s Center from the Spring Hill Mansion, in the center of the preserve, to the southeastern edge. This building will stand as a connective device as well as a commentary on the traditional motel typology, responding to its context along route 50 and its proximity to the nearby trail that connects Cottonwood Falls to Strong City, which then merges with the existing trails within the preserve. The Plainstay Motel is a modest, clean and simple place to stay in the center of everything that makes the Flint Hills great.
 

Standing in entry looking north

Standing in Entry Looking North

In Main Public Space

In Main Public Space

In Motel Room Looking through Screen onto Private Porch.

In Motel Room Looking through Screen onto Private Porch.

Motel Parking and Exterior Spaces

Motel Parking and Exterior Spaces

Section A Through Typical Motel Room

Section A Through Typical Motel Room

Section B Through Motel Room / Office

Section B Through Motel Room / Office

Section C Through Main Public Space

Section C Through Main Public Space

Final Project: Jing Chen

May 18, 2011
Visitors center

Visitors center

Stone Sedge

During our first trip to the Fling Hills, two things left a strong impression with me. The first was the way the stones hide in the grass. I liked the looming feeling when they were unseen before they appeared. The other thing that impressed me when I was in the prairie is that I was surrounded on every side by the grasses. When you looking at the views, it should be flat like a photo, but a 360 degree view. These are the two main concepts of my design.

Units for long term stay

Units for long term stay

Visitor center plan

Visitor center plan

Guest room plan

Guest room plan

Guest room section

Guest room section

Guest room interior

Guest room interior

Final Project: Andrea Fisk

May 18, 2011
Section through lounge and gift shop

Section through lounge and gift shop

The Sublime Void

I began by looking at prairie art and literature to distill what is so compelling about this landscape. Walt Whitman noted that, while this landscape is not as dramatic or picturesque as the landscapes of the West, it is more compelling to be in, to travel through and experience. He called this “the sublime void.” My project seeks to maintain the sublime experience of an empty, boundless, horizontal landscape by blending it into the topography: a humble building that respects the naked prairie, the void, in which it sits.

Lower level plan and section through restaurant

Lower level plan and section through restaurant

Model

Model

Interior perspective of lounge

Interior perspective of lounge

Plan of guest rooms

Plan of guest rooms

Detailed section of guest room

Detailed section of guest room

Interior perspective of guest room

Interior perspective of guest room

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