Advancing the Education of Young Architecture Graduates through Foreign Travel-Study
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Caldera

by Scott Magic — Finalist

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Description
The primary act of architecture is to enclose, to make shelter within the infinity of nature. In an act of human confrontation, the Backcountry Ski Patrol + Operation Center will emerge from the weathered landscape like a man-made Caldera.

No man is ever alone for life is a shared endeavor. At the heart of the Center is a communal courtyard that welcomes guests and encourages interaction. During summer, it becomes an outdoor event space for lectures, films and education; During winter months, the terraced seating becomes a ski chute, funneling skiers down the slopes. Like a ring, each programmatic element is linked to foster communication and staff involvement.

Inspired by the process of weathering, the Center is built of basalt rock fragments, collected from the mountains and utilized in 2’ thick Gabion walls. The Gabion walls reduce the need for cast-in-place concrete foundations, labor, cost and create high-mass thermal wall. The building’s form fragments to maximize winter solar exposure and to block the prevailing winds. The solar exposure is captured and re-purposed with a Photovoltaic wind screen and the courtyard’s dual-glass skin turns radiation into conditioned air.


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