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Presentation in Cottonwood Falls Part 1

April 15, 2011

Last weekend we returned to Cottonwood Falls to present our projects to members of the Chase County community. The presentations took place from 9:00 AM till 1:00 PM on Saturday, April 9th in a forum open to the public. On Saturday afternoon we went out on the prairie to see controlled burns of the grasses and on Sunday we split into small groups and visited our various project sites to do additional research and documentation. We now have three weeks remaining to develop our projects before our final review on Friday, May 6th. Here are the first six of twelve projects we presented last weeekend.

Pinning Up

Pinning up our presentation boards in the Haw Building in Cottonwood Falls the night before our presentations (photo by Andrew Buck)

Presentation

Matt Kleinman presents his project on Saturday morning (image by Max Bemberg)

Max Bemberg:

Max Render 1

Exterior perspective rendering (image by Max Bemberg)

In order to reconnect the towns of Strong City and Cottonwood Falls with the Tallgrass National Prairie Preserve, this project for a new visitor’s center and motel is located on the southeastern edge of the Preserve as a filter between the natural and urban. People will be drawn off Route 50, leave their cars on the edge of the preserve, learn about the history and culture of the prairie and wander off to explore the Flint Hills on trails and roads that lead not only out into the preserve but south into Strong City and Cottonwood Falls as well.

Max Diagram

Project concept diagram (drawing by Max Bemberg)

Max Render2

Night perspective rendering (image by Max Bemberg)

Andrew Buck:

Collage

The Tallgrass Prairie is a landscape of transitions and thresholds, no more apparent than at the Fox Creek Lowland, in this area all of the phases of the prairie are experienced: The Spring Hill Mansion, the Scenic By-way, the farmland, the creek, the great grassy plateau, and the endless sky. The architecture of this place must seek to accent and develop these thresholds. There is no greater thrill on the prairie then the feeling of slipping through another’s land, another hill, another valley into a different world.

Campfire Units

Campfire units exterior perspective (image by Andrew Buck)

James Klauder: “Threading the Edge”

Distant Elevation

View of the guest room bar as seen in the Fox Creek gallery forest from Kansas Route 177 (image by James Klauder)

The bar containing the guest rooms is threaded along the edge condition of Fox Creek. Vertical hardwood battens dematerialize the prospect of the building from afar. Perched along the creek, the guest rooms look out 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.

Area Plan

Area plan showing the Spring Hill Ranch in the upper left corner, the proposed visitors center due east, and the guest rooms threaded along Fox Creek to the south (drawing by James Klauder)

Guest Room

View from a guest room onto a controlled burn in the upland prairie across the creek to the east (image by James Klauder)

Matt Kleinman:

Exterior perspective rendering

Exterior perspective rendering (image by Matt Kleinman)

Night perspective rendering

Night perspective rendering (image by Matt Kleinman)

Guest room perspective rendering

Guest room perspective rendering (image by Matt Kleinman)

Jared Marcantoni: “Position on the Prairie”

Walkway

Walkway through the grasses (image by Jared Marcantoni)

Height of the grasses

Height of the grasses (drawing by Jared Marcantoni)

Cuts made in the land draw visitors into the project and beyond onto paths which extend out onto the landscape. Outside the buildings, the paths enable the continuation of interior spaces out onto the landscape. Views below and through the grass are orchestrated by controlling the rate of descent down the slope. From within the embedded exhibit space, cuts bring the outside in, as diffuse sky light is reflected off of polished floors. At times, dynamic shadows appear on the floor as the sun shines through the dancing grass above.

Exhibit Space

Exhibit space interior rendering (image by Jared Marcantoni)

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