Nestled among the wooded West Virginia hills, adjacent to heavily trafficked Rt. 19, the Welcome Center serves a dual function. It welcomes visitors headed to the nearby training and adventure grounds, and it is an information center open to the general public. With no other structures in sight, this 12,000sf building was afforded that rare opportunity to establish a vernacular.
In harmony with the surrounding hills, the building has gently rolling metal roofs and glulam beams supported by heavy timber posts with branch-like knee bracing. Exterior veneer is cut stone collected from nearby. Two cedar-clad ‘chimneys’ provide shear bracing while hiding high-efficiency RTUs. Curtainwall with sloping high-bays enclose the front and rear elevations, diminishing the boundary between inside and out. A side entrance has a long roof extending over a bus drop-off area. In addition to the main building, Thrasher designed restrooms, parking, facilities, and scenic trails to create an overall easy access to the building by foot.