LOCATION : PROPOSAL FOR COLUMBIA HILLS HISTORIC STATE PARK
MATERIAL : Corten steel, oak planks, soil, native plants
The Columbia Hills Historic State Park is located in Washington about ten miles east of The Dalles. The natural space is along the southern facing slopes of the Columbia River Gorge where a variety of endemic species that produce an amazing diversity of flowers during the spring bloom time and throughout the summer.
This historic landscape was for years was part of a ranch where cattle grazed and swatches of alfalfa and wheat have been grown. The rancher who had owned the land for years gracefully dontated the acres for the public to enjoy as he was retiring.
From an aerial perspective one can see the organic forms created by the topography of the Columbia Hills and the rectangular forms that the result of property lines refelect the impact of the grid and dividing land into tax lots.
The views from the Columbia Hills Historic State Park are spectacular as they look out over the Columbia River as it meanders through the gorge of basalt. There is little refuge from the sun and wind with a few oak trees tucked away in the valleys.
The majority of visitors to Columbia Hills Historic State Park come for the annual blossom of flowers and to identify the various species they see during their trip. The pathway is an old road that leads up the hill to where it reaches the top of the slopes providing great views to take in the landscape and its inhabitants.
Pollinators and birds frequent the area during different times of the year searching for food and habitat. The cavities within the strucutre provides a potential place birds to nest and for humans to observe the wonders of nature.
The sculptural form is inspired by the seed pods I saw during a trip and its organic shape provides a gentle curve similar to the topography of the land. The rectangular forms that are cut into the organic surface made of corten steel reflect the shapes of the geometric grid and property lines placed upon natures organic landform.
An ecoroof is designed into the horizontal surfaces of the structure allowing for native plants to grow and at the same time off setting the ecological footprint building. The ecoroof also helps to cool the space internal space where visitors can take refuge and study the plant samples or seeds that have been collected for research and future restoration projects.