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.

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