Final Design

The design of Fort Ancient’s new museum and lodge is a celebration of the mound. These earthen walls that define the site were formed on the ideas of preservation and remembrance of a society who greatly influenced the Ohio Valley. This concept of preservation is translated into reality through a built canopy structure located at the southernmost point of the historical site. A lightweight fabric canopy acts both as a shelter and backdrop for the mounds. When arriving to the site, visitors are drawn through the canopy on a large pathway, being able to fully experience the grandeur that is the mounds as they walk directly along their contours. When reaching the museum, the winding path continues inside the exhibit spaces with stretched fabric panels creating an organic flow of movement. After visitors learn about the history of the Hopewell and Adena peoples in the new museum, they are encouraged to continue on the mound walkway underneath the canopy to gain a full appreciation of the site. The courtyard space in the center of the canopy is populated with sunflowers, tobacco and corn: all traditional crops of the ancient peoples who lived there. Across the space is the lodge where researchers are invited to stay during their exploration of the historical landmark. A practice excavation space is located in the northeastern corner of the courtyard to allow visitors to interact with archeologists during their time at the park. Education is vital in preserving this unique site, and with the addition of this canopy structure, the history of Fort Ancient will continue to thrive.

Design Development

Schematic Design – Alex Kaplan

Here is the link to my daapspace for Fort Ancient Schematic Design:

Case Study _ Alex Kaplan

Khalsa Heritage Centre, Anandpur Sahib, Punjab, India
Safdie Architects

Set in the holy town of Anandpur Sahib, this museum and cultural center celebrates the 500 years of the Sikh faith history and the 300th anniversary of the Khalsa, the scriptures written by the tenth guru Gobind Singh. Inspired by the rich heritage of the Punjab, Moshe Safdie designed this campus of structures on a 75-acre site overlooking the town. The site is divided into two sections by a ravine, which Safdie straddles with a pedestrian bridge. The large forms seem to rise out of the sand, directly relating to the history of the Sikh warriors, and are cladded with stone like the fortress cities of the Punjab. Safdie designs upward curving roofs to contrast with the traditional domes of the Sikh sacred buildings.

Safdie acknowledges and celebrates both the society’s culture and existing site conditions in the design of this project, which can be directly related to the Fort Ancient project. The mounds are a very important part of our site, and I feel they need to be expressed and celebrated more clearly than they are currently. My conceptual design will be influenced heavily by the religious and cultural heritage of the Adena and Hopewell. I want to preserve the mounds as well as allow the built structure of the museum and visitor center to reflect the site’s tradition.

Fort Ancient Site Analysis