Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Grand Teton National Park - Grand Indeed!

It takes about an hour to reach Grand Teton National Park from the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park. It's a beautiful drive into Wyoming. Grand Teton is the kind of place that makes you want to sit back and look around you, for a long time. Or meditate. Or do yoga. Or sip a glass of wine while sitting in your camp chair. The mountains are spectacular.

The Visitor's Center is fantastic. Designed by the architecture firm of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, it's an award-winning building. This same firm designed the Apple building in NYC, also known as the Glass Cube, as well as a barn at Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater. Below is a summary copied from the firm's website -

"Project Summary

The realm of the Tetons is an extraordinary place in our western landscape. The tectonic uplift of the Tetons and the valley’s glacial past can be read easily.

The building is placed at the edge of the riparian forest in a sagebrush meadow, enabling visitors to sense the meandering river and confront the great mountain range. One is drawn around the edge of the building to a courtyard that all but occludes the Tetons. It is a calm, introspective place. A colonnade of massive tree trunks borders its perimeter to provide shade and shelter on three sides of the sunlit space.

Visitors passing through the entrance vestibule are compressed before emerging into an expansive light-filled space. They stand in a grove of great columns that recall the primeval forest, confronted by the jagged spires and drama of the Tetons. As a counterpoint to the tranquil court, the interior’s geometry is fractured. This seemingly haphazard arrangement of logs choreographs the movement of people through uplifted forms that house interpretive exhibits. A rugged fireplace is at the building's psychological and physical heart. Stone outcroppings form sitting ledges and the base for timber-formed concrete planks stacked to make the chimney, a vertical marker in the landscape.

Choreography and emotionally laden materials connect people viscerally to the Teton landscape. This is a building that is sensibly ordered and surprisingly evocative, shaped to the nature of the land and the people who visit it."

I wish I had remembered to bring the flash for my camera into the building, but here are a few photos. There is a huge stone free-form fireplace inside. More info is on the Bohlin Cywinski Jackson website. The jagged form of the building echos that of Grand Teton Mountain.

The entry courtyard

Grand Teton Mountain - imagine climbing that!

Mt Moran

Jenny Lake - I took a scenic drive on a side road past Jenny Lake and it was so pretty.

Rock wall in observation area at Jenny Lake - I like the use of the different rock sizes.

No comments:

Post a Comment