Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center -- Manalapan, New Jersey

10,000 SF addition | 6,000 SF renovation | gallery | orientation theater | museum store | multi-purpose classrooms | exhibits | offices | archeological lab | LEED Silver
The Monmouth Battlefield Visitor Center is a modern-day glass and steel temple orienting guests to the battlefield, a site sacred to our independence. An original Monmouth Battlefield Visitor Center was hastily built in 1978 to celebrate a one-time reenactment of the longest and largest battle of the American Revolutionary War on its bicentennial anniversary but had become obsolete. Our design reimagined Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center several decades later and repositioned the original inward facing visitor center—used largely as a rest area for hikers and picnickers—as a museum and learning center that reorients visitors to what was a significant American Revolutionary battlefield. The building repurposes an undersized gallery that obstructed views of the landscape with an open pavilion that places primacy on the historic battlefield, now an archaeological site. Through its siting and generous use of large expanses of glass, a new pavilion dramatically enhances the visitor experience and frames views of the battlefield that were previously obscured. In addition to a solar screen that surrounds the center, the design incorporates a number of sustainable design features that achieve a LEED Silver certification, including triple-glazed low-e laminated glazing, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and rainwater collection.