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Presentation in Cottonwood Falls Part 2

April 22, 2011

Jing Chen

Guest room exterior perspective rendering

Exterior perspective rendering (image by Jing Chen)

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.

Guest room section

Guest room section (drawing by Jing Chen)

Guest room interior perspective rendering

Guest room interior perspective rendering (image by Jing Chen)

Andrea Fisk: “The Sublime Void”

Perspective rendering of the restaurant

Perspective rendering of the restaurant (image by Andrea Fisk)

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 experience of an empty, boundless landscape by blending it into the ground: a humble building, respecting the naked prairie in which it is located.

Sections

Sections through the public courtyard, above, and the guest rooms and parking, below (drawing by Andrea Fisk)

Exterior perspective, approach to the the guest rooms

Exterior perspective, approach to the guest rooms (image by Andrea Fisk)

Yu-Cheng Hsieh: “Boundless Frontier”

Exterior perspective rendering

Exterior perspective rendering (Image by Yu-Cheng Hsieh)

The Visitor Center, located 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 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 in the living rooms can extend their view over the guest rooms’ rooftop and eventually reach the prairie. Moreover, not only is the view is available to the visitors in the guest rooms, a direct touch of the tall grass is also provided.

Landscape concept diagram

Landscape concept diagram (drawing by Yu-Cheng Hsieh)

Guest room interior perspective

Guest room interior perspective (image by Yu-Cheng Hsieh)

Gabe Lampe: “Bridging Barriers”

Guest cabins as viewed from the crossing at Fox Creek

Guest cabins as viewed from the crossing at Fox Creek (image by Gabe Lampe)

My site is situated on the opposite side of the historic Spring Ranch, connecting the more traveled west side of the preserve with the east side. The Visitor Center bridges Fox Creek housing a restaurant, ranger offices, campground amenities, and an art gallery including all associated support services. The most public part of the building, the lobby and restaurant are placed at the end of the building path allowing a procession of experiences that culminates with a view of the hill. Thirty cabins along a fence line stand five feet above ground act as framing device for the landscape and provide a bridge across the fence. Charred-wood siding fireproofs the cabins. The black-boxed cabins floating above the grasses will aid the subtle beauty landscape in juxtaposition to the ever-changing colors of the grasses.

Site selection diagram (collage by Gabe Lampe)

Site selection diagram (collage by Gabe Lampe)

Guest cabin interior perspective rendering

Guest cabin interior perspective rendering (image by Gabe Lampe)

Kristin Rose: “In the Line”

Exterior perpective rendering

Exterior perpective rendering (image by Kristin Rose)

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.

Cross section

Cross section (drawing by Kristin Rose)

Interior perspective rendering

Interior perspective rendering (image by Kristin Rose)

John Wheadon: “Tallgrass Prairie Retreat”

The approach to the public program

The approach to the public program (image by John Wheadon)

In the arrival sequence, the stereotomic architecture appears like the faceless rolling landscape. It is not until the visitor is deep within the draw between the buildings that the entrances become visible. The uphill view entices a visitor forward. Likewise the uphill view draws a visitor out of the public buildings into the landscape. But the quiet serenity of looking out over a vista after a long hike is offered to visitors who stay in the lodging. The design works to mimic the multiplicity of experiences of this landscape and preserve the quality of a remote retreat.

Typical guest room plan

Typical guest room plan (drawing by John Wheadon)

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