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In Afterthoughts, I wrote that the new facility reminded me of an elementary school. That was effect the NPS was actually going for, as the center’s mission is education and interpretation. “[The new facility] needed to have more of a feeling of a campus than a building,” says Rupp. “In the previous center, the one-million-plus annual visitation had to be a contained in a single building.”
The new goal was to use the property available to spread out the functions of the visitor center—museum, gift shop, ticketing, administration, etc.—in separate pavilions. Visitors are meant to be more aware of the shelter and shade of the heavy roof of each pavilion than they are than the walls of those buildings.