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Photos and Text by A. Kam Napier
Roof forms predominate as one approaches the entrance to the new USS Arizona Memorial visitor center from the parking lot. To learn more about design decisions for the new center, I spoke with architect Alissa Rupp, AIA, project manager and a principal at The Portico Group in Seattle, Washington.
“There was a need to create elegance without ostentation,” says Rupp, addressing a National Park Service concern that the new center, built with public money, appear modest. “We went through a series of things to find an elegant roof solution that was practical, affordable, but offered an iconic singularity.”
The curve of the roofs helps direct air flow for passive cooling—energy efficiency was a big part of the project. The curve also alludes to the shape of the memorial itself, “without being imitative.”