Heritage Welcome Center
a Kentucky modern
design objective 1
Capturing the balance between point of interest and minimalist approach, clean function and easy aesthetics

  • typepublic building
  • year | size2000 | 12,000 SF
  • locationpark city, Kentucky
  • statusinternational competition entry, honorable mention

project statement
Park City Heritage Welcome Center - a landmark urban element and point of tourist attraction

The design is born from symbiosis of site and program specifics, functional use of space and the concept of combining cultural value with tourist attraction. The building embodies rich local heritage creating a symbolic bridge with the past. At the same time it provides a unique facility to observe the present - a viaduct, that stretches from the bus terminal to the museum and shapes the main bowed axle of the building. It also serves as a cover for pedestrian access from the transit station to the main entry, providing vista of the natural beauty around. the second axle of the welcome center, counter pointing the bow, extends deep beyond the exterior wall perimeter and is an homage to building post and beam tradition. with the same idea of symbolism the hip roofs of the complex relate to the local architectural background, while the glass skylight with panoramic elevator and wide curtain wall mullions act as passive green devices with 21st century building technology.


project statement (cont)

The function of the building is similar - combining ease of use with fun to use. The center offers 24 hour operation of vending and restroom facilities, 18 hour store and regular business hours full operation along with the indoor/ outdoor theatre.
Ample trip planning, tourist information and ticketing lobby provides access to the raised level heritage museum, library, gift and bookstore, restrooms, vending, as well as classrooms and offices. The secondary building axle is accented by an atrium, which serves as outdoor exhibition place, demonstration place for special events and office recreation. the complex is surrounded by a green buffer zone along with picnic amenities and landscaped paths. The whole building, atrium and park are fully accessible.
The overall appearance, functionality and aesthetically balanced space relations form a unique and fun environment for locals and visitors with respect to the past and perspective for the future.

design objective 2
Creating form and functional relations on many levels
The HWC was an early breakthrough in competitions for us, which highlighted the right path to a winning strategy in the everlasting battle for the form vs function status quo. We simply thought we might balance them throughout, adding fun in the mix. Beyond Bauhaus' "form-follows-finction", beyond post-modern and deconstructive - minimalistic, pure and simple. It proved right in the years to follow.
from the architect