A small-arms range building for the local 172nd Air Lift Wing of the Air National Guard provides a durable, enigmatic home for this new training facility. The facility combines a state-of-the-art 14-lane firing range with supporting classroom and training areas.
The constrained site drove the need for a compact building footprint and the simple shed structure incorporates the large ventilation system within an enclosed mezzanine. Designed to meet LEED Gold criteria, the high summer sun is controlled by extending the roof overhang and sidewalls to shade southern wall exposure and a perforated screen provides filtered sunlight through the large classroom windows. A standing-seam metal roof and brick rain-screen wrap the building’s interior ballistic-rated concrete shell and provide a long-lasting building enclosure requiring minimal maintenance.
The masonry work is crafted from dark, iridescent brick to optically transform the building’s presence depending on one’s approach while providing solar shading. Two long, solid walls on the east and west (where the range function restricts the use of windows) incorporate pilasters that cast deep shadows on the face of the building. The series of pilasters transition from wider to increasingly narrower spacing toward the shorter end of the long low-sloping sides of the building and horizontal brick insets are placed at increasing increments as they move up the wall. These insets cast additional shadows to emphasize the building’s lateral presence.
The idea behind the articulation of the building aims to activate one’s sense by challenging the perception of the building. Through an effect of making the building seem larger – longer and taller – from one viewpoint, while from another view the building may seem shorter and flatter; the experience of this structure becomes a training tool to awaken one’s senses through the unexpected shifts of perception.
The design team includes: Duvall Decker Architects, Waggonering Engineering, Scott Woods and Associates, PA, Top Belle Building Services, LLC, Spencer-Engineers, Inc, Burns Cooley Dennis, LLC, and Jon D Rice & Associates, LLC.