Text description provided by the architects. The Maryhill Overlook, the only structure in the Sitings Project to be completed, lies on a bluff above the Columbia River Gorge within a vast landscape of barren grasslands marked by basalt scarps—a harsh environment exposed to extreme weather and dramatic swings of light.
Project description, images and drawings after the break.
A single concrete slab emerges from the earth, rising and falling as it moves to the edge of the cliffs. Along its length are eight volumes that open and close to the sky. From a distance the form dissolves and reemerges as line or plane in response to the quality of light and changing point of view. Drawing closer, held in the hollow wall, the surfaces are cut by a datum that establishes a specific reference to the surrounding landscape.
An act of introspection, the Overlook serves to amplify the natural and experiential forces at work on the site. It is a demarcation that allows occupation and provides a measure of scale, distance, and time. Through a single act of making, the inherent architecture of this landscape asserts itself. The Overlook serves as a vehicle for the extant to be perceived in an entirely new way.