Portland, Ore. – (September 3rd, 2009) When October’s first snow falls on Mt. Hood, Timberline Lodge will sport an eye-catching new visitors’ entrance designed by Portland’s rhiza A+D. The graceful reticulated structure, like a snowdrift blown against the National Historic Landmark’s massive masonry façade, will be assembled at the onset of each year’s snow season and disassembled the following spring.
Under light powder the illuminated portal will glow like a lantern. But once the snow starts piling up, the lantern will morph into a snug contemporary igloo, able to stand up to the formidable snow and wind loads encountered on Mount Hood.
“The arch is the two-dimensional symbol for shelter. Spin that arch in three dimensions and you have an igloo,” says rhiza A+D partner Ean Eldred. “In its relationship to landscape, resources, and the fundamental human need for protection from the elements, the igloo is a profoundly elegant design.”
The entry is formed from a series of parabolic arches, with profiles waterjet-cut from half-inch-thick aluminum plate. Each profile is interlaced with continuously welded ribs supporting a double skin of translucent polycarbonate panels which are lightweight, durable and replaceable. After each spring’s disassembly, the arches will be stored off site to extend their lifespan.
“It will be an icon next to an existing icon” said Joachim Grube, co-founder and principal of Yost Grube Hall Architecture and President of Friends of Timberline, a group dedicated to the 1937 building’s preservation. “It’s really the only design that could do justice to this venerable structure.”
The new entrance joins the legacy of giving, volunteerism and collaboration that is the cornerstone of Timberline Lodge.