Fort Ancient Museum and Lodge Final

The driving concept behind the design for the new museum and lodges for Fort Ancient State Memorial, was to complement the old with a equivalent contemporary intervention. The main intervention was the redesign of the pathways and roads through the site in order to increase the spatial cognition of the mounds that the current layout does not provide.  This is accomplished through the placement of new pathways that weave in and out of the mounds, cantilevering past the site at points to provide an outside view of the mounds and add interest.  As the path wonders through the site the visitors will encounter small gardens and outdoor installations, which tell the story behind the mounds and the Hopewell tribe’ which built the mounds.  The aesthetic of the new intervention is not meant to mimic the ancient mounds but meant to be a contemporary interpretation of the mounds while claiming hierarchy to them.

As the common visitor walks along the pathway they will eventually come into contact with the site of the buildings.  From one direction the visitor will be presented with the museum’s promenade level as the same language as the rest of the path to delay the recognition of it as a building and not another bridge.  The opposite direction will present the museum in the distance as the attainable goal that is just out of reach.  The difference is due to the want to create multiple ways to experience the buildings.  The aesthetic of the museum is supposed invoke a monumental quality similar to that of the St. Louis archway.  The museum cantilevers past the site to state that it is as a separate entity from the site and to provide visitors with great views of the Miami River valley in the distance.  The design closes the south facing walls to force the visitor inside the museum to look towards the mounds and the site design below, which includes a excavation site for training.

In conjunction to the museum is the lodging for the visiting archeologist and historians.  The lodges are a contrast to the sleek and minimalist aesthetic.  The form of the lodges conforms to the topography in a way similar to the mounds.  The design separates the spaces into five separate forms to create courtyards in between the lodges and also harkens back to the villages of the Native Americans.  The skin of the building is design to blend the lodges into the surrounding environment and also connect the residents to the exterior.  The path that connects the two building is winding to provide strategic views of the museum as you walk to it.  One of the inspirations for this monumental path is how the Native Americans would live outside the mounds and walk to the mounds for ceremonies and other special activities.  People walking along the path will pass under the museum and after passing this threshold will be able to sit on hardscape and watch the training excavation or look out on to the landscape.

Fort Ancient Schematic Design

Case Study

Case Study

Spaceport America by Fosters and Partners

Fort Ancient Site Analysis