This orientation and visitor’s center forms a portal to the Staten Island Greenbelt Park and houses spaces for interactive virtual reality exhibits and dining. It also provides a place where hikers and bikers meet to exchange information, plan excursions and start and end their treks into the park.
The major spaces, contrasting in ceiling height, form a flowing continuum, anchored by the massive brick fireplace. Sheltered by the wide eaves which provide non-glaring natural light, the doors, windows and clerestories balance a desired openness with the need for exhibit wall space.
To make the building an extension of its site, it is formed into interlocking volumes unified by the low profile roof. The cast stone base, water table and window sills along with the overhanging eaves further emphasize the horizontality of the building.
Construction is timber and steel framing. Roofing is natural slate and flat seam copper. Both exterior and interior feature the same natural palette of materials, brick, stone and wood.