Fort Chadbourne Visitor Center Coke County, Texas


in this thesis proposal, I will pursue ''ARCHITECTURE AS A PROGRESSIONAL GATEWAY', and show how this Visitor Center directly relates to the function of a mid-1800 Western Frontier fort. A progressional gateway involves a sequence of spaces that link together a common purpose. The purpose being in this Visitor Center is to link the visitor to the frontier fort. This linkage will involve educating and informing the public and serving other needs such as the administration and exhibit spaces. The fort was a progressional gateway to frontiersmen as they travelled westward. The fort attracted persons along their journey, pulled them in, and protected from the elements. They were then released back into the environment for the continuation of their journey. This sense of protection must be expressed with strong architectural components in the design of the Visitor Center. Even though hostile Indian tnbes do not pose a threat, the Visitor Center will retain that sense of security with strong architectural elements. The site is located in the Northeast corner of Coke County, Texas on the Chadbourne Ranch. The architectural response to the context will be crucial for the success of this project. The Visitor Center must attract visitors, but remain integrated with the site. Careful planning of the facades and views to the center will be necessary to make it an architectural success. The center must not dominate the site, but must blend with its surroundings. While blending though, it must still remain the obvious gateway to the site providing access to the historic fort. The visitors are attracted to the site for the historical aspect of the fort and are drawn to the Visitor Center as a gateway to that history. The Visitor Center will be comprised of a progressional series of informational spaces, creating a progressional gateway for visitors, from the automobile to experiencing the frontier fort. The visitors will receive information upon their arrival and then will be guided around the site. This will allow for safety of the visitors and protection of the historic fort. The Visitor Center will accommodate approximately fifty visitors at a time, thus allowing for large groups to visit with adequate space. The design of the spaces for maximum interaction will give the visitors a more pleasant experience and make the project more of a success.



Architecture, Visitors’ centers -- Design, Coke County (Tex.)