By: Jeremy Clow
The ARC elective 502 course continued, we have now completed our preliminary schematic designs both individually and as a group. The designs are coming together and display a variety of options for site manipulation, orientation, and seating arrangements. Some key factors of the location have led to very similar design responses. The strong sun from the south hits the hill side providing warmth during the winter, the heavy forestation will provide shade during the summer making a comfortable environment. During the winter however winds from the south come across the lake, with no coniferous forestation between the lake and site the wind is almost unbearable. This has led to a variety of site properties, portions of the site being blocked to the south to create a wind break. The food preparation area included, gusts of wind could make preparation burdensome. The seating and orientation is a prominent feature in the design. Should the seating face the view, the lake to the south? This orientation would be the most obvious in terms of aesthetics however the wind biting at the users face, the sun bearing blinding them, and the smoke from the fire engulfing them are just a few of the reasons why this would be problematic. Seats facing the north put the users back to the wind and sun and with the fire in front of them the smoke would be pushed away. The seats can also be constructed without backs; this will allow persons to face either direction during different times of use. The spectators in the seat will also be facing a guide or lecturer, teaching them about the site, surroundings, and environment. To limit the amount of construction the spectator platform can double as a food preparation area. Space in this particular construction can also provide the wood and food storage requested in the program. Limiting the amount of construction not only helps in time of hours spent constructing but it also helps us stay within the budget as well as minimize our impact on the natural environment. With the leveling of the earth a series of retaining walls will be constructed, one at the north side for holding the higher earth back as well as one at the south to hold earth up. A trench dug to implement these walls will also provide a series of drainage solutions including drain tile to ensure the walls as well as the earth aren’t harmed over time. With erosion already being an issue on the site due to human traffic, a thoughtful and careful design can help aid in the conservation of the natural environment. The walls being a necessary element for the sites success can also be a dual purpose construction element. The tops can provide a perimeter of seating, the north wall being seats level for the site and the south wall for users facing the lake. The additional seating located on the site would sit directly north of the southern wall, providing a stadium style seating for multiple users facing the lake. This would be a great opportunity for larger groups who are taking in the sunrise, sunset, or the wonderful view. The main goal for the finalized project is to limit our manipulation of the earth as well as the amount of construction and keep the natural beauty intact as well as the focal point. With a limited budget and only five graduate students doing the physical labor the project has many constraints both in time and finance.