Page E1.1 . 21 May 2008                     
ArchitectureWeek - Environment Department
< Prev Page Next Page >



Appalachian Suncatcher

by Debra Moffitt

Nestled into a hillside near Asheville, North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center is projected to use 75 percent less energy than a comparable conventionally designed facility.

Trombe walls, a planted roof, bioswales, daylighting, a high-efficiency mechanical energy-recovery system, and other "green" features add up to make this National Park Service facility a contender for LEED Gold certification.

In many ways, the design of the Blue Ridge Parkway Center, by Lord, Aeck & Sargent, reflects an earthy awareness of the building's natural setting and relationship to the sun. But the project also involved state-of-the-art computational analysis to optimize the passive solar design.

"Energy efficiency was one of the cornerstones of sustainable design for this building when we began in 2004," says John Starr, a principal at the Atlanta-based firm.

The architects collaborated closely with the National Park Service to develop the 12,900-square-foot (1,200-square-meter) center. Wood siding and sloped roofs relate to the mountains and complement the Parkway's traditional style. Lord, Aeck & Sargent updated a southern Appalachian vernacular style with modern materials — glass, aluminum, and concrete.   >>>

Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...


ArchWeek Image

The Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center near Asheville, North Carolina, was designed by Lord, Aeck & Sargent in collaboration with the National Park Service.
Photo: Jonathan Hillyer Extra Large Image

ArchWeek Image

The Blue Ridge Parkway Center's south facade is composed of Trombe walls turned about 30 degrees from the building's axis to optimize solar gain.
Photo: Jonathan Hillyer Extra Large Image


Click on thumbnail images
to view full-size pictures.

< Prev Page Next Page > Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Media Kit       Privacy       Comments
ARCHWEEK  |  GREAT BUILDINGS  |  ARCHIPLANET  |  DISCUSSION  |  BOOKS  |  FREE 3D  |  SEARCH © 2008 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved