The Grove Lodge
Location: Scioto Grove Metro Park, Grove City, Ohio
Design: 2016
Built: 2017

Our approach to designing the Scioto Grove Metro Parks Multi-Purpose Venue has been a proactive and collaborative design process. Our strategy has been focused on creating a design that is the convergence of form, structure, and culture. As we have discussed form and structure are the fundamental elements of architecture and culture is the behaviors, beliefs, values and symbols that bind us together. Our goal has been to produce a contextual building that not only embraces the environment around it, but to build a new context visa vis the integration of form, structure, and cultural imagery of the new Scioto Grove Metro Park.

Our original vision for the multi-purpose venue was a vertical landscape that reflects and embraces the Scioto Grove ecosystem with simple openings in the exterior form to create intimate courtyards that allow nature to flow in, around and through the building. Over the past few weeks we have been able to expand on this original idea through the introduction of a unique roof form that will have the distinct pleasure of embracing the summer prairie grasses to the west and supporting the tree canopy of the Scioto River escarpment to the east. As the seasons transition this iconic roof form will, at times, appear from afar to float above the prairie and, at other times, seem to be resting in place when viewed up-close by guests and visitors.

A key component of the building’s west facade is a terracotta screen wall designed to create a hierarchical sequence as one approaches and then enters the building. As visitors circulate through the building, this simple design motif will create a variety of opportunities to experience filtered space and sun light without the inconvenience of direct glare. An added bonus is the mass will function as a wind fence and a ‘trombe” wall to allow the western heat from the sun to be “sunk” during the day and released at night when most needed.

The interior program has evolved organically to accommodate an appropriately sized 125 person multipurpose room with non- parallel walls for acoustical benefits and a staff room to be used as a pre-function space during special events. The inviting foyer space has room for multiple displays as well as engaging views to the river corridor. Support spaces include storage for tables and chairs, group restrooms, 2 single use restrooms with one dedicated to the outdoors, and a mechanical/utility room.

With the judicial use of simple glass, terracotta, and metal panel materials in an organized rectangular form we have worked diligently to optimize the building functionally while exploring the form and context. We believe the building will not just be a gathering place and nature center; it will also be a lens through which to view the park and the river in a whole new light. Over the course of the day, week, and year the visitor will experience the building as a reflective form casually embracing the ever evolving beauty of the Scioto Grove Metro Park.