Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Celebrating 25 Years in 2010

Places We've Been To...

Hugh Newell Jacobsen lectures
with some of our renderings as
a backdrop. Photo courtesy of
The Virginia Center for

final inspect
Here is the model of the Riggs
Alumni Center we built for Mr.

Model of Forest Hills Resort in
Hiroshima, Japan.

Forest Hills Model.

Arnold Palmer inspects our
model of one of his course

Pro shop for Clubsource Design.

Model of Woodrow Wilson
Presidential Library.

Rendering of new Monticello Visitors Center.

The Art of the Presentation [click to read].

Over the years we have had the opportunity to serve some of the finest architectural designers with quality hand illustration and scale models to present their concepts. The 'Art of the Presentation' takes a look at some of the places we've been to and the fine people we have had the opportunity to serve. You'll also get a chance to see us at work creating scale models for a variety of applications.

Fine craftsmanship is essential to the building process. It is essential to the creative process as well. Come see how we've had a hand in some great projects.

Building your vision - A look at how we help bring design concepts to life...

Monday, May 25, 2009

In the Studio

Creating Concepts

studio 2
At the drawing board.

studio 1

Model Making

Creating Topography in Our Model Shop

Model Shop
A historical display taking shape.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Village at Afton I

The Vision...

A World-Class Entrance to Shenandoah National Park,
The Blue Ridge Parkway, Waynesboro and the Valley



In earlier times it was the site of a busy Howard Johnsons and a Holiday Inn. Exit 99 on Interstate 64 was actually the preferred exit for Wintergreen before the road up the mountain was upgraded. Indeed one would have predicted a bright future for businesses located at the Southern entrance to Shenandoah National Park, the Northern terminus of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the gateway to the beautiful Valley of Virginia. Today the area has fallen into ruin. Even the Afton Convenience Store is closed and the Visitors' Center is going away to a modular trailer. With the 75th anniversary of the Skyline drive approaching in 2011, it is time to think about revitalizing this important place.

So imagine the fog lifting one morning to reveal a new 'Village at Afton.' A bit of Tyrolean culture in Rockfish Gap. It is not so out of the question. [Next]

Village at Afton II

The Village Economy

Bright Cafes, Cobblestones, Fine Accommodations and Shopping!

The model for this is the Village at Stratton Mountain [click to view] in Vermont, although the Village at Afton would be on a smaller scale. Guests would be able to stay in rooms and suites above the retail spaces.

Update: Lynn [SWAC Girl] just suggested that the residential units above the retail space should be for year-round living. You'd have the views like you were living in Wintergreen but you'd be living in a village. Also you would have an easy drive to Charlottesville, Waynesboro or Staunton. [Next]

Village at Afton III

So What Do You Do with the Water Tower Again?

The water tower encased in a baroque chapel.

I love those villages in Europe where the church spire is the identifying landmark. It is also the tallest building in the village. Why not disguise the rusty water tower as such a church and use the spire as a cellular tower? [Next]

Village at Afton IV

New Travel Center/Market/Camp Store

A new travel center.

Where the Afton Mountain Convenience Store sits now a new travel center should be constructed. The center should reflect the Tyrolean theme of the village and would be similar to the Market type stores in Charlottesville. There should be an expanded camp store and a Subway type sandwich shop for quick meals. This would be the only franchise food in the village and would be primarily aimed toward the through traveller. [Next]

Village at Afton V

Renovated Inn at Afton

Renovations to the Inn at Afton.

Once one of Holiday Inn's choicest properties, the Inn at Afton could be renovated to provide clean economical accomodations and the excess capacity allows for housing seasonal staff for the village. Many resorts recruit college students to expand their Summer staff and the village should consider such a program.

Appalacian Trail hikers could also be accommodated in an economy section. The skating rink might be rebuilt if it proves feasible. [Next]

Village at Afton VI

New Visitors' Center



The Visitors' Center should be located close to the highway and be an easily recognizable feature of the village. The Camponile is designed to attract the arriving visitor. Think of Luray Caverns before the bypass and you'll likely remember the bell tower.

The mission of the Visitors' Center would simply be an expanded version of the services they now offer. Displays could be included to give visitors a taste of destinations such as the Frontier Culture Museum and the American Shakespeare Center.