We’ve got another great project by Studio Gang Architects to share with you. The building, a former brown-field converted into a visitor center, speaks to Jeanne Gang’s idea of architecture being an all encompassing field with the built landscape playing a large role in shaping our enviornment. In our interview with Ms. Gang, the principal at Studio Gang along with Mark Schendel, she expressed her interest in “the horizontal plane” as a designed landscape can also function to compliment the built form. For their visitor center, which is located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the project remediates its distressed site by reestablishing native species and habitat. Both site and building design work together to educate visitors about the region’s unique bio-diversity. More about the Blue Wall Center after the break.
The building hovers dramatically above the landscape, cantilevering out from its steep hillside. The entire volume is pierced by a series of smooth glass ‘holes’ that bring the outdoors deep into the building’s interior domain, a quality similar to the deeply incised geology of the escarpment.
At the center, visitors will be able to learn about the ecosystem through these “living exhibits” that display the region’s flora, fauna, and rock formations. Its sustainable design and water capturing features demonstrate principles of conservation.
The site design is seen as an extension of the building that smoothly transition one from the built to the natural. A series of garden-rooms exhibit native tree species, rare plants, cultural history, geology, and human impact on the region. The rooms are connected by a series of path-circuits for leisurely walking or light hiking, with an option for connecting to more serious hiking trails beyond the site. Project Information: Landscape Architect: SCAPE Size: 9,600 SF building and 14 acre landscape Owner: Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greenville Services Provided by Studio Gang Architects: Led design and full service A/E team from concept through current construction and completion LEED rating: targeted Platinum