Academic Goal :       To propose a Visitors Center and Boater’s Lounge for the newly created Lakeshore State Park, located on a man-made island off the coast of Milwaukee. The building should be a landmark to announce the entrance of the new park and must accommodate park staff, pedestrians/bikers and boaters, providing them with information, shelter, restrooms and showers. Because it is on an island, the building must be completely self sufficient, filtering waste and generating its own power.   Solution :       This building is a figure/ground composition study. It consists of three gestural elements that formally reference historic industrial waterfront structures and project through a horizontal plane while having minimal perceived interaction with it. To further placate the marine nature of the site, it is built of arced timber (laminated) in the fashion of a wood boat hull. This construction method allows for a majority of the structure to be built and clad off site.      The cladding is a main feature of the design. The triangular copper panels compose a dynamic rain screen. Some panels would be hinged along one side so they could open, exposing vents and windows and allowing the skin to adapt to the weather and sun.       When it rains, water is funneled from the roof to a “wishing well” like reservoir at the center of the gathering space where it is then pumped to tanks located on the second stories of two of the towers so it can be used in the showers and toilets.  This keeps the ground plan open and allows for natural water pressure to the fixtures. Water is heated by solar water heaters on the tilted roofs and stored above the boaters showers, which are active for three seasons. In the winter, when the showers are not used, the hot water energy is transferred to the floors for heat.
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