Axis

2014

Dispersed Visitor Centers / Acadia National Park Traditional national park visitor centers are massive, multifunctional facilities that are used to showcase the park’s unique features, sell admission tickets, sell souvenirs, and provide Ranger interpretation – all from a single center of operation. Acadia National Park seeks to reimagine this visitor experience. The current visitor center is undersized and outdated, no longer adequate in serving the island’s employees and tourists. Instead of renovating this building, [AXIS] proposes to disperse the program to multiple sites around the park, providing needed amenities and shelter at each of Acadia’s unique island conditions. By this, each site is intimately understood and celebrated on a localized level.

Northeast Harbor  
As a fishing hub and launching point for nautical tourist activities, [AXIS] extends out from the marina’s pier to entice visitors toward the sea.
Otter Point 
This site of repose affords unimpeded views of the bay and surrounding mountains, yoking the impassable coastline with the island’s foot trails.
Hulls Cove 
The center provides a transitional hub for all other satellite visitor centers, prefacing tourists for their journey ahead. 
Explorations in Detail
Joint inspiration: QuaDror
“We all design the same way. We begin with the large and move to the small. We begin with the ecosystem and work our way down to the detail. We decide on the form then we select the material. We solve all the big problems and then we figure out how to put in the columns and beams and what to make them out of and how to join them together.
Could you design a building in the opposite direction? Could you begin with the small and go to the large? Could you begin with a material and determine the form? Could you begin with a joint and grow a building out of that joint? The intent of the Maine Project is to study a joint, to study the material through the joint, and to determine the building out of both.”
- Architect Edward Ford​​​​​​​
Structure
[AXIS] is a foldable and self-locking joint useful for field deployment. By connecting two-by-eight dimensional lumber into hinged, triangulated structural units, the frame can collapse for shipment to remote locations and be expanded quickly for on-site installation. The system aggregates into linear space of twelve-foot bays and can be further stabilized through a stressed skin of hexagonally arrayed two-by-fours.
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