This was the first idea that I had when I first started to research this process. Iguazu Falls are a stepped horseshoe shaped water fall I decided to take the overall shape of the water fall and abstract it into this idea of a building.
From the first concept the building eventually evolved to still have the arced walls including the front entrance. The building stayed leveled as well just a little bit more random than straight up and down. I also wanted the building to blend into the nature around it as much as possible through the use of a green roof, locally sourced materials, and a lot of glass to keep the building from interrupting the beautiful views.
An important step of design is knowing what types of spaces are going to be required in the building what functions will this building host. By making a list of needed spaces and bubble diagraming the approximate spacing within the exterior walls is how I begin planning out the building.
The first idea is often not the best idea or the idea that will become the end project. After figuring out the spaces that were going to be needed, I started rearranging and came to this floor plan that would actually become the final floor plan.
Through the trial and error of schematic design this is the final floor plan and space planning for the visitor center. With a large information lobby with kiosks also providing information of the park. Connected to the lobby is a museum explaining the process of how the waterfall was created and also about the local animal and history. The next level down is the amenities providing storage and offices for the employees and restrooms. The theater is also found on this level providing further information on the park and its history. The lowest level is half cantilevered over the gorge with gorgeous views of the falls. This is the retail space and a sitting area allowing guest to stop in for lunch or just to enjoy the views.
The lobby is open to help patrons know more about the park or help them find the best hikes and views around the falls. A large map on the back wall also provides a quick locator and ideas of what to do.
The museum is mean to be an interactive space where patrons can learn the facts about the water fall and of the local Argentina history and paleontology. See how the waterfall and services has changed over the years to where it is now days.
Is it a visitor center if you can’t pick up a souvenir? The retail space is stocked by local artisans from photographers to pottery. The Visitor center is meant to be a economic boost to the locals as much as it is a place for patrons to enjoy and learn from.