McGuire_Final Process


Fort Ancient-through tessellation

With interest in the solar and lunar calendar and the layered process of archeological digs, I have designed this lodge and museum with a focus on keeping the calendar visible and relating to the layered technique. Precedents of the Aquatower, Hedgehog building, and igloo lead me to invest myself in a screen system. And after discovering, I settled on a three-screen panel system that focused on the adaption of light. The way the light can be manipulated is through the movement of the screens. And with my tessellation of a Hopewell textile, I was able to create three screen patters that already accommodate three lighting situations: the least dense screen that is outside for the archeological research/laboratory building, the middle screen that is the transition in between that outside and inside condition for the lodge, and the most dense screen that allows the natural light to be completely cut-off from the interior of the museum as to not destroy the articles within.

The form of the building is also a tessellation itself. The earthwork mounds, very organic, are tessellated outside of the mounds, and as they are reinterpreted as built form, the geometry is tessellated into a more angular and cubic form, yet still keeping a very formal curve relating to the mounds. This broken cubic geometry allows for the interaction between the inside of the building to the outside as the inside of the mounds does to the breaks in the mounds and the sun and moon. The one calendar opening that is known to be relevant to the lunar path and in the context of my building, I accentuated by pulling apart the lodge/museum from the research/labs. With further iteration, my next step would have been to pull apart the lodge and museum as to keep the other (seemingly non-relevant) opening near my site still an opening from the interior of the mounds to the outside. This, as well as the refinement of the spaces in between the buildings as possible entrances or inhabitable spaces would have been the next part of my design process in Fort Ancient’s lodge and museum studio project.

Midterm Review_Emily McGuire

Schematic Design_Emily McGuire

Preliminary Sketches_Emily McGuire

Left The first idea is to make a new mound surrounding the ancient ones. To keep the lunar view visible, the mounds will have paths through the new mounds.

Center My interest in archeology and providing the experience through the building, I wanted to try and portray the dig in a form. This form is supposed to represent layers being peeled back, with the newest material on the top and oldest on the bottom.

Right The final preliminary sketch is relating a second row of mounds to the original. The idea of the new mounds can separate the lodging, museum and lab/meeting areas flanking the lunar sight paths.

Case Study_Emily McGuire

ScrapHouse by Public Architecture, 2005 (

Water Bottle Igloo by Jasmine Zimmerman (

Both of these projects listed above are possible case studies for the Fort Ancient site as they practice multiple sustainable design principles that can be easily related to the site and program requirements for the Fort Ancient Lodge/Museum project. Both are mainly focused on reusing or recycling old materials or simple objects as a way to build. These materials, since they have been recycled through architecture, are more or less low impact materials as they would have been trashed if they had not been reused. In both of the case studies, not only are the materials being reused, but they are being adaptively reused . As shown in the picture on the left, old fence posts or rafters have been converted into stairs and in the top right picture, fire hoses are the wall finish.

These case studies are pertinent to the Fort Ancient site for numerous reasons. The idea of reusing local materials especially makes the site more historical. Going along with the Fort Ancient site program, the celebration and story-telling of the Hopewell people’s earthwork is very important. Building with reused materials can tell a story by itself. By building the new lodge/museum with recycled materials, the new intervention can be more related to the built earthwork as it is a very rudimentary and systematically built landscape that did not require outside materials and that only required the use of found materials around the site.

Case Study_Caroline Bozzi


New York-based fashion designer Graham Tabor describes his Spring/Summer ‘09 collection as similar to an archaeological dig. Each of his fashion items is fragmented and separate from the rest of the collection. The clothes have a strange deconstructed look, which bears references to ancient warriors. The hairstyles that are intertwined with the garments create a whole universe of tribal textures, and men’s fashion becomes a mask through which its wearer can express sacred rituals

Just as Tabor intertwines elements of the human body with the garments to create something beyond, I want to intertwine the landscape with my intervention to create something respectful to the land and the people of the land. I really want to focus on entertaining cultural and historical sustainability.

I want to be able to employ tribal textures and tribal geometry in my design to create a zeitgeist that reminds us of the Hopewell people and pushes our research forward that the same time. Tabor’s garments become masks that allow the wearer to express sacred rituals, however I want to my intervention to evolve to be a “blurry mask.” The intervention will protect visitors just as shelter does; but protect the visitors while allowing the environment/natural elements to become a part of the intervention. By allowing the environment to control and inform the intervention, the mask blurs and people live and research more freely within endless inspiration.

This collection uses low-impact material successfully. The materials are soft for the human skin and allow the body to express freely. There are not a lot of unnatural dyes, allowing the materials to be recycled/reused. There is no stitching that restricts movement for the wearer.


photo by Helene Binet

photo by Sim and Dee Adams

photo by Sim and Dee Adams

Peter Zumthor’s design for the Thermal Baths at Vals is minimal and understated, but demonstrate thoughtful use of local materials and weather/climate beautifully. Built of concrete and local Valser quartzite, Zumthor’s invervention is carved into the hillside like a cave, as though formed by an act of nature. Zumthor doesn’t change the existing typography, but rather works with the challenging slope.

The local materials used on the intervention has a low impact on the site which is evident as he employs biomimicry. The water in the Vals Spa becomes reddish in contact with air. Thus where it flows over cement in certain points, it has deposited reddish oxides on the grey cement. Light, wind and rain are permitted to penetrate the exposition pavilion: the material thus seems to “breathe” with the natural elements, following their changing rhythms. The materials are found on the site making the evolution and decay a continuous closed cycle of material reuse.

I want to discover a way to incorporate the Little Miami River into my design; have the river flood into the building as though it is “supposed” to happen that way instead of blocking the flood. Studying the Thermal Baths gives me inspiration for incorporating water and other into my building because Zuthor lets nature cascade into his intervention.

Natural light plays a large role in shaping and defining surfaces, above and beneath the surface of the water. Zumthor uses the sun profile angle to define spaces. The sun illuminates specific baths in the morning and evening to provide stimulation and calming experiences respectively. Bathers’ circulation is dictated by ritual, and Zumthor organized the space to provide both social and solo experiences.  Because the earthwork walls at Fort Ancient were created for social and ceremonial purposes it would be fitting to organize the circulation and programmatic space by the ceremonial/social intention.

The baths reminds you and surrounds you with the natural environment while creating a new and unique experience of bathing. I really want to create a space that reminds the visitors of the Hopewell people while creating an atmosphere conducive to modern research and study.