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Home Ranch Welcome Center in Jackson Hole, Wyoming by Carney Logan Burke Architects
November 1st, 2016 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Carney Logan Burke Architects
BUILDING PROGRAM & SITE
Demarcating the northern entrance to Jackson, Wyoming’s historic downtown, the 3,129-square foot Home Ranch Welcome Center serves as a community hub for both residents and visitors. The building program includes visitor orientation space, a transportation hub and a public restroom facility that replaced a well-used bathroom building. The Welcome Center exhibits will function as orientating devices for visitors and utilizes storytelling of local characters as a narrative for the opportunities and amenities in the Town of Jackson and surrounding National Parks.
The building is situated on a prominent corner on the main route in and out of Jackson and serves as a gateway to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and adjacent public lands. Since the site includes an existing parking lot that serves as the primary public parking area for the Town Square and local events, the design had to accommodate the new program and address the public corner without removing any parking spots and preserving the existing 60-foot spruce trees. Access to public transportation was also considered throughout the siting and design of the building so that bus stops are visible and accessible on this busy street corner.
The design concept was conceived from the idea that the building is the new public “porch” for the town of Jackson. The porch is a familiar, regional building element that communicates, “welcome,” signifies entry, provides shelter, and acts as a portal. The building program components, the restroom facilities and orientation space, were divided and expressed individually. The restrooms are housed in an opaque concrete enclosure while the visitor orientation area occupies a transparent, light-filled gallery space on the public corner. Both spaces convene beneath the expansive, sheltering roof.
Wood is used as the primary material for the structural system. Turned, fir, log columns support glulam beams that are exposed within the orientation space to communicate how the building works. These columns support a large canted roof with a glass clerestory that tilts up to the southern light and the omnipresent backdrop of downtown Jackson and Snow King Mountain. Stippled light fills the space, created by the carefully placed screens that wrap the glass curtain walls and log columns of the main hall.
The underside of the big beautiful porch roof is clad in strips of hemlock chosen for its lighter color, delicate grain character, and reflective qualities. The carefully detailed tapered soffit is taught and delicate and reduces the mass of the generous overhangs.
The lobby walls, ceiling decking, a giant wood gate that separates the orientation space from the lobby, and a continuous sill/ bench below the windows are clad with hemlock. Again this species was selected for its warmth, light and grain characteristics. The bathroom component is made from cast-in-place board formed concrete. Board forming gives the concrete scale, texture, and pattern and makes the material friendly and familiar. The widths of the boards alternate and the radial sawn pattern on each board was deliberately exposed.
Outside, vertical select grade cedar siding is used to complement the material palette. Untreated Alaskan Yellow Cedar decking is used at the ground plane entries to visually assist with entry identification and to reference the wooden boardwalks that are typical around the town square. Fir, glulam, benches are also incorporated outside the building and on the site.
In accordance with the Town’s sustainability initiative, a LEED Gold rating has been received.
PUBLIC ART PROGRAM
Integrated into the metal sunscreens are glass bricks that represent the art installation called “Strands,” the first publicly funded art project produced by the Jackson Hole Public Art Initiative. The colors in the glass bricks are pattered to replicate the portions of DNA that make bison and bears genetically distinct.
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