The Fort Ancient site is one of mystery and history, and it is a shame that the site is covered up by dense vegetation, weeds, and no clear walking path.  My building design aims to correct this problem by creating a controlled site experience.  Through anchoring multiple viewports around the site, it becomes clear to the visitors that there is something magical and significant about the mounds surrounding the site, and the gateways they create.  My building is designed to be a memorable, and significant monolithic component of the site without demanding the attention that should also be allocated to the mounds and their history.

Through the strategic and specific division of my building, five view ports are created that lead to the gateways of the mounds, and back to a central point that directs the view to the second site (the DIG).  These five viewports also help to division the programming of the building, allowing for two stories on the northern pieces, that incorporate the major components of the building (the lodge and the museum) while the smaller portions allow for a cafe, lookout box, and some staffing areas.  The parking is underneath the building, allowing the site footprint to be minimized, and forcing the visitors to walk up into the central courtyard to experience the gateways before entering any part of the enclosed structure.

The second site, “the DIG” is a sub-area within zone two that allows for a secondary museum experience.  Here archeological digs can be practiced and a children’s dig area can allow for hands-on learning about the mounds and the site itself.

Overall, the “GATEWAY” focuses on delivering a quality and thoughtful directive to visiting the mounds, without overbearing or dominating the mounds themselves.

Mark Rustin – Schematic Design

under Mark Rustin – Schematic Design

The Pilgrim Route – Case Study

The Pilgrim Route, or Ruta Del Peregrino, is a 100 km pilgrimage route in Guadalajara, Mexico that 2,000 religious advocates walk each year.  This pilgrimage is through an open site, that doesn’t contain any buildings or dwellings, so the Secretary of Turism held a competition to commision 9 monumental installments within the site.  The interesting thing about this site is the fact that each installment is completely different, and yet they all share a similar purpose: to create a temporary dwelling that makes views and break points.

One of the more interesting projects is the HHF concrete lookout point.  A very simple structure, this spiraling work encloses the pilgrims as they enter, and then as they move up a spiral staircase the structure moves away, revealing a fantastic view.  Other installations, like the Elemental Lookout by Alejandro Aravena and “Walk the Line” by Ai Wei Wei are other large lookout installments, that direct the views of the pilgrims to site-significant points and landscapes. Other installations, like the Derek Dellekamp Arquitectos and Tatiana Bilbao MXA, abstracted a cross, creating four points that obscure views and create a spiritual gathering space while the hermitage is a few sharp folding screens that create a short break point and shelter during the walk. The final piece of the walk is a large concrete ring called Void Temple, that seems to be more of a sculpture than architectural component.

The design intent of the entire pilgrimage was to make natural structural installments that would, with time, become integrated with the surrounding landscape as plants and animals took them over and moved in.  I find this really interesting because it makes me think of the Fort Ancient Site itself: 2000 years from now, what will these installments look like, and how will people be treating them?  This site design is a combination of installations that ignore site, bend the site, and work with it, but eventually all the structures will become integrated; one with the pilgrimage.

Fort Ancient Site Analysis – Anders Rustin

Site Analysis Fort Ancient