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Home > Projects > Mount Independence Visitor Center/Museum

Mount Independence Visitor Center/Museum
Orwell, Vermont

Professional Services Provided

  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Structural Engineering

Description of Professional Services

Mechanical, electrical, and structural design for museum and historic visitor center. Nestled into contour of southern hillside, Center's presence is clearly visible when one approaches. However, as visitors leave Center, hillside conceals the 734 m2 (7,900-SF) structure which houses permanent exhibit, Building Independence on Lake Champlain. Structure also incorporates combination temporary exhibit space, and an auditorium/classroom allowing for interpretive lectures, workshops, multimedia presentations and receptions. Facility provides curatorial space for working on collections, with two climate controlled artifact storage areas.

Structural design was demanding, due primarily to unique geometry. Building resembles a boat, with curved walls forming a bow and a stern. On one side of the building, the exposed foundation wall is vertical; on the other side the wall leans outward at an angle of 10 degrees. The interior columns lean at an angle of 5 degrees. The ride beam is a plate girder, spanning 21.3 m, with two reverse curves. With the walls and ridge being curved, the surface of the roof deck is a variable curved shape. Special board forming for the exterior concrete walls to replicate a rough sawn wood finish adds to the image that the building is a giant boat.

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Mount Independence Visitor Center and Museum, Orwell, VT
Exhibit at Mount Independence