We were contacted by the Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission to design one of a circle of parks surrounding the Washington DC area. This project, currently awaiting funding, involved nature based recreational activities with an emphasis on interpretation to highlight the site’s unique ecological and cultural heritage.
The program includes entrances, an access road, parking, interpretive trails, group picnic areas, an amphitheater, group fire ring, picnic shelter and a small multi-purpose classroom pavilion. The Facility Plan addresses the cultural landscapes in which we live and which change over time, and highlights the interesting dichotomy between man and nature that is evident on the existing site.
The final design generated a 1250 sq. ft. building nestled under the hill, facing the meadow and forested areas to the north and east. It includes a meeting/teaching room, small office, toilets and storage. The same views are provided on the roof terrace above, further reinforcing the facilities connection to the natural environment. An amphitheater was created as an extension of The Underlook. It can be used for outdoor teaching, performances, relaxed seating, picnicking and contemplation.
It strives to embody the value and aspirations of sustainable design for inspirational, ecologically friendly park facilities.