Architects: ASK Studio
Location: Iowa City, Iowa, United States
Consultants: Snyder & Associates, Shuck-Britson, Farris Engineering
General Contractor: Tricon Construction Group
Area: 1,200 sq ft
Photographs: Cameron Campbell
The project is a public park structure containing rental boat storage, restrooms, and concessions. Situated on the edge of a placid lake, the structure functions as the park’s marina, albeit a boat ramp.
The language of the structure is intended to be familiar. The materials of stone and wood are common and easily interpreted as congruent with the natural setting. The shed roof form is speaks simply of shelter in nature, but a more complex dialect reinforces the familiar and the vernacular. The expression of components, economy of the frame and articulation of edges are perceived, but not readily defined.
Concessions and restrooms are sheltered under the lower roof while boat display and storage is in the large, light-filled space beneath the rising roof. Simplicity is reinforced through hinged walls that imbue the building with a closed condition and an open condition. The two hinged walls, fourteen feet in width, open up the space completely to the outdoors, framing the view to the lake and signaling “open” to visitors as they enter the park. The structure is used primarily in the summer and the hinged walls provide the interior with plentiful light and ventilation, promoting comfort in an unconditioned, fully passive building. A simple system of screen vents harnesses convection and the Bernoulli Effect to stimulate cooling at the concession space.
The project is an exercise in expressing simplicity through a sophisticated assemblage and allowing a structure to be understood in a common language and more deeply understood through a dialect.