Advancing the Education of Young Architecture Graduates through Foreign Travel-Study
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Mount Lowe Preservation Center

by Jeremy Brunel — Finalist

Site PlanFloor Plan and DiagramSustainabilityMuseum Experience

The Mount Lowe Preservation Center & Museum is situated in a residential neighborhood and is bordered by several hiking trails. In addition to accommodating the display and preservation of the landmarks and artifacts of the Mount Lowe Railway, the center aims to establish a new hub for both social and educational gatherings. Rather than designing one large structure that could accommodate all of those functions, I chose to design the Preservation Center as a Campus comprised of several individual buildings. By limiting the scale of each structure the center blends into the existing residential neighborhood in addition to maximizing the porosity of the site.
Net Zero energy efficiency is achieved through a variety of passive and active design strategies. By minimizing the volume of the structures it is much easier to cycle the air with natural ventilation. Precisely located fenestration in combination with deep recessed openings allows a constant supply of natural daylight without an excessive cooling load. The project is conditioned by means of a closed loop geothermal system, in combination with radiant concrete floors, to fully take advantage of the earths naturally regulated core temperature enabling thermal comfort year round. The Museum is constructed of Fly Ash Concrete to both reduce the amount of waste entering our landfills and to provide thermal mass to further regulate the internal temperatures. The echo Mountain Hall and classroom are built using a hay-bale construction system finished with plaster. In doing so I greatly reduced the embodied energy of the construction materials used. There is a large Photovoltaic array located at the North of the site adjacent to the driveway and parking lot to ensure that they will always receive maximum solar exposure throughout the year.

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