A Visitor Center requires both public engagement and informational programming elements. For the Upper West Side of Manhattan, this meant introducing a new building type to a currently developed public plaza. One of the most notable integration's of Riverside Park is Ulysses S. Grant's Tomb, perched at the end of a colonnade of deciduous trees. Devoting a Visitor Center for the tomb meant a primary understanding of the 18th President of the United States along with the ability to compose a project to be both engaging with the site and of course, pay homage.
Located just at the intersection of Riverside Drive and West 122nd Street in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the site exemplifies existing conditions which render the project to be a direct relationship with what exists - General Ulysses S. Grant's Tomb. With little to no influential context besides the physical Tomb itself, the limitations felt tenous.
2// Special Archive
7// Administrative Offices
9// Egress & Circulation
Approaching the Tomb itself evoked a feeling of a lack of scale with no remaining context on the physical site besides a colonnade of trees and the marble walkable surface. Thus the design intent was to in fact fabricate a Visitor Center with little contextual relationship but more programmatic and perspective relationships. The design offers views to survey the current Tomb, both internally and externally, and a celebration of historic events while pushing the envelope for what truly constitutes as a Visitor's Center.