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Monday, April 01, 2013

Improving I-95

On a recent round-trip drive from NYC to DC, I noticed a rest stop on the side of I-95 closed for reconstruction. At another rest stop a pamphlet described the new designs of two "travel plazas," as they're called: Chesapeake House and Maryland House. Given the sad state of highway architecture in the United States (evidenced in the "before" photos below), I was taken aback by the quality of the architecture. Both travel plazas are designed by Ayers Saint Gross and are presented below in before and after states without comment.

Maryland House (expected completion December 2013):
i95-3.jpg
[exterior rendering by Ayers Saint Gross | image source]

i95-3a.jpg
[exterior "before" condition, architect unknown | image source]

i95-4.jpg
[interior rendering by Ayers Saint Gross | image source]

i95-4a.jpg
[interior "before" condition, architect unknown | image source]

Chesapeake House (expected completion September 2014):
i95-1.jpg
[exterior rendering by Ayers Saint Gross | image source]

i95-1a.jpg
[exterior "before" condition, architect unknown | image source]

i95-2.jpg
[interior rendering by Ayers Saint Gross | image source]

i95-2a.jpg
[interior "before" condition, architect unknown | image source]

3 comments:

  1. We've taken quite a few road trips around Texas over the past several years and have been pleased to see some of the newer rest areas. Appropriate architecture, thoughtful design, and sustainably built. They're not as commercialized as the ones above, but no doubt built for a different user load. We joke about doing our part to keep the tradition of the roadside picnic from vanishing in society's collective rear-view mirror.

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  2. Will no one preserve/protect fluorescent lit/quarry tile 70s interiors?! It is a scheme that will never be repeated. WHat will the movies do for depressing, gritty settings in road trip movies? ANd I say that with all sincerity!

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  3. Over the years I've been to both many times. The replacements, while an improvement, look much like the new rest stops along the PA Turnpike. Those, while nice, having these soaring interior spaces which evoke a feeling that one is in a cathedral. Does the ceiling really need to go up 40-50' to achieve good design?

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