The University of Cincinnati received a gracious donation from the Court Family for the design and construction of an archaeological field station in a historically sensitive location. The building was erected on a section of the White Water Shaker Village’s South Farm located in the Hamilton County Park District. Master Plan and State Historic Preservation review and analysis were performed by the design team to ensure an appropriate and successful project would come to fruition. The Research Center was the first manifestation of the Master Plan and will set the tone for the remainder of the new structures.
The field station employs passive design strategies to lower mechanical needs and a mounded septic system prevents aquifer contamination. The team followed many referencing criteria including, the University’s classroom guide, NAGPRA for archival spaces, and LEED. A balance between modern technologies and historic sensitivity was paramount. The building is intended to make a visual connection to, yet be markedly distinct from, the existing historic complex. The classroom and laboratory spaces are open, comfortable, and flexible. The professors can arrange the classroom as needed. The furniture can even be moved to accommodate fundraising events and larger presentations.
The University has installed renewable energy in the form of solar panels. While emersion DESIGN was not contracted to design the photovoltaics, the original design focused on passive strategies to reduce energy consumption and oriented the building and roof angle to optimize shade and sunlight throughout the year. The winter sun warms the space and the porch overhang provides summer shade. A high-performance thermal envelope was designed to maintain temperature and drastically reduce air infiltration, and utility spaces were pushed to the ends so the learning, active space is only exposed on 2 sides.
Lecture Hall/ Classroom
Single Prime Construction
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