Spring 2009 | Four-Corners Monument and Navajo Center
Site: [AZ, CO, NM, UT]
In its current condition, the Four Corners Monument sits flat and uninteresting. This proposal aims to change this with a concept that is centered around the procession and journey. Another concern was to keep the design relevant to Navajo culture, and as the Navajo people feel a distinct connection to the land, the massing of roof and walls merge as fractured surfaces, seemingly born from the land. The programmatic spaces are not entirely enclosed, eliminating the need for conventional windows by allowing light in through all directions.
At the turn of each corner of the ramp, the viewer has a new experience. From the road one would see the tall monument in the distance, would then park, and have to walk up four ramped areas that spiral around the central core, each level increasing in elevation. First, one passes through a long row of market stalls, directing business toward the Navajo vendors. Turning the corner, one enters the Navajo exhibition area, with a vaulted space where the four corners monument can be seen above. The offices and bathrooms remain on the first level, in a more private area. Continuing up the ramp, one can see down below to the exhibition space, as they enter the café and outdoor eating area. Finally, the viewer continues up the ramp and exits at the four corners monument. At the highest point, the viewer is able to see out to the expansive landscape of all four states. At the top of the monument, the four state lines are notated by skylights, which can be also be seen from the vaulted exhibition space below.