Strange Places That Don’t Exist [Museum of the Lewis and Clark Expedition]

A journey into the unknown and over a horizon from East to West.

The design for this museum was about capturing the danger, the mystery and the allure of unexplored places. I conceived of this building as an overgrown ruin on a sloping river bank. The entrance is uphill to the east. The exit is at river level to the west. Cast-in-place concrete site walls rise up out of the earth and are nested upon by a kind of primitive alien thing, something like a giant cicada shell or an overturned boat hull inside of which is a gallery housing relics from the Lewis and Clark expedition.

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Jeffersonian Artifact

This is a scaled map of Thomas Jefferson’s Lawn at the University of Virginia. It was made from cast-off machine parts collected from a scrap metal yard. The task was to diagram a place I passed through almost every day in college. In preparation I studied the surroundings of the Lawn and I studied the scrap machine parts I had chosen to work with, and I came up with what I thought would be a straightforward language of symbols using the scrap metal pieces to represent the actual buildings and landforms that I wanted to map.

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