Mountain Architecture: An Alternative Design Proposal
for the
Wy'East Day Lodge, Mount Hood Oregon

by Thomas P. Deering, Jr.



 Site Selection
 The Village Metaphor
 Two Paths
 The Climber's Hut
 The Wy'East Day Lodge
 The Wy'East Day Lodge as Mountain Architecture
 The Drawings
 Notes on the Presentation



Drawing 1: Site Plan (Author)

Drawing 2: Computer Drawn Site Plan (Author)


Drawing 3: Floor Plan: Dormitory Level (Author)

Drawing 4: Floor Plan: Upper Entry / Administration Level (Author)

Drawing 5: Floor Plan: Dining / Lounge Level (Author)

Drawing 6: Floor Plan: Lower Entry / Skier Services Level (Author)


Drawing 7: South Elevation (Author)

Drawing 8: East Elevation (Author)

Drawing 9: West and North Elevations (Author)


Drawing 10: Sections (Author)


Drawing 11: Rendered Perspective (Author)

Drawing 12: Computer Drawn Underlay for the Rendered Perspective (Author)

Notes on the Presentation

All of the final drawings for the design proposal, while hand rendered, were laid out with the aid of computer generated under drawings, (compare Drawing 11: Rendered Perspective and Drawing 12: Computer Drawn Underlay for the Rendered Perspective). When the design for the Wy'East Day Lodge was nearly complete, the site (including Mount Hood), Timberline Lodge, the proposed Wy'East Day Lodge, and the smaller structures relevant to the project were translated into numbers that could be understood by the computer (digitized). The numbers were then arranged into groups describing endpoints of lines within each selected form element. The various groups, or polylines, range in complexity from a single straight line with only two end points, to a square representing a window--two end points and three intermediate points, to a line with many twists and turns describing an entire dormer, contour line, or complicated roof intersection.

Using the VISIT computer program on either one of the two computers available through the Academic Computer Center to the Department of Architecture, it was possible to produce two or three dimensional wireframe drawings. These were presented either on a terminal screen, primarily with the DEC VAX-11 785 mini-computer, or as hardcopy on paper, with both the VAX and the CDC CYBER-180 855 mainframe computer. High quality liquid ink drawings were produced using the CYBER and the Zeta high speed drum plotter (Drawing 2 and Drawing 12). Less expensive, low resolution drawings were produced on a Printronix dot matrix printer connected to the VAX (Figures 3.7, 6.2, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, and 6.12, 6.13, 6.14, 6.15, 6.16, and 6.17).

Polyline data for the drawings is grouped by section, usually to be drawn or not drawn in its entirety. The six major sections which make up the complete data set are listed in Table 6.2 by file name, and drawn individually in Figures 6.12, 6.13, 6.14, 6.15, 6.16, and 6.17.

Table 6.2
SITE.EXIST - The existing site.
SITE.NEW - The new, or changed, portions of the site.
SITE.OLD - The existing portions of the site to be changed.
TL.ALL - Timberline Lodge.
WY.ALL - The proposed Wy'East Day Lodge.
HOOD.ALL - The outline of Mount Hood as seen from the site with the chair lifts that run above the timber line.
Totals: 541

Within each file are as many as two hundred polylines, each describing a many-segment line. The VISIT program keeps track of each polyline by number and identifies the beginning of each new polyline by an alpha-numeric name, usually a useful identifier such as "88 - Parking lot east edge." A complete list of the polyline names used for this project appears as Appendix D. A polyline or a group of polylines can be drawn or not drawn depending on the point of view desired. Since hidden line removal for so many points would have been impractical, the next best approach was to selectively draw a polyline if it should be visible. In Figure 6.7 for example, only the road from the site data (no contour lines), and a portion of the Wy'East Day Lodge are plotted, producing a drawing of acceptable clarity. Color drawings help make conflicting information discernable, such as allowing easy differentiation of the changed contour lines from the existing. In Plate 6.1, which shows all of the site information (both new and existing), the existing contour lines are drawn first and in a darker blue, rendering them visible but not confusing.

The amount of time spent digitizing this complex site would probably have been inordinate in a practical situation. The entire data set of 534 polylines consists of over 8,200 points and, with each point itself described by three individual numbers, the size of the data base is actually around 25,000 pieces of information. However, despite the size, there were two aspects of this type of presentation which are quite valuable. First, in order to describe the site and its buildings, an intimate knowledge of how everything fits together was mandatory. No lines could be put "somewhere near where they should be," and if two or more lines met, they had to meet exactly, not just approximately. There are advantages and disadvantages to this, of course. One may gain an intimate knowledge of the project, but at the same time be forced into making design decisions simply to expedite the descriptive process.

The second and most valuable aspect of this type of presentation is the ease and rapidity with which perspective drawings of any view can be produced. Hundreds of drawings like those shown in Figures 6.5, 6.6, and 6.7 were used in place of perspective sketches to communicate various interrelationships within the design. On a larger scale, the Computer Drawn Site Plan (Drawing 2) communicates much the same information as the two-dimensional Rendered Site Plan (Drawing 1), but in a fashion which for many is more readily understood. It is not scalable, but even as a wireframe drawing, can give a good "impression" of what the project might look like if built.

To produce an underlay for the rendered perspective (Drawing 12) the computer proved invaluable. Not only was the relationship between Timberline Lodge and the proposed Wy'East Day Lodge represented easily and accurately, but so also was the relationship between the buildings and the larger scaled elements of the site, especially Mount Hood. The task would have been much more difficult if the perspective had had to have been hand plotted and accuracy of spatial representation maintained.

The use of the computer is, to a certain extent antithetical to the purpose of a mountain building. It is difficult not to let the computer itself determine some aspects of the design. Symmetry, strict repetitiveness, and regularity ease computer representation considerably, but, as these qualities are among those to be avoided in the design of a mountain building, the use of the computer early in the design process must be considered carefully so as to not unduly limit the design. The computer after all is only a tool, not a form giver.

Figure 6.12: Low resolution perspective, file SITE.EXIST: The existing site. (Author)

Figure 6.13: Low resolution perspective, file SITE.NEW: New or changed portions of the site. (Author)   Figure 6.14: Low resolution perspective, file SITE.OLD: Existing portions of the site to be changed. (Author)

Figure 6.15: Low resolution perspective, file TL.ALL: Timberline Lodge. (Author)   Figure 6.16: Low resolution perspective, file WY.ALL: The proposed Wy'East Day Lodge. (Author)

Figure 6.17: Low resolution perspective, file HOOD.ALL: The outline of Mount Hood as seen from the site (rectangular outline) with the chair lifts that run above the timber line. (Author)

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Master of Architecture Thesis
(M. Arch - University of Washington - 1986)

Extensive copying of this thesis is allowable only for scholarly purposes,
consistent with "fair use" as described in the U.S. Copyright Law.
Any other reproduction for any purpose or by any means
shall not be allowed without my written permission.

Copyright 1986 © Thomas P. Deering, Jr.