The boathouse is located along an active running and biking path across the Allegheny River from the vibrant Strip District in Pittsburgh. The active path influenced a flowing design, carved between two dirt running paths. An existing outlook to a great view of the river is adjacent to the boathouse, reinforcing the notion to take a break from biking. The site is sixteen feet above the river’s water level, on a hundred-year flood plane. The ramp to the water dips underneath one of the existing running paths, forming a tunnel with a view of the only water’s surface. The unconditioned boat house serves as a rental shop for kayaks. The boat house’s real beauty is in the roof. Bent wood beams flow overhead, directing the users to the water. The need for distracting cross-bracing is mitigated by secondary beams which bounce back and forth between beams. Fiberglass channels run down the length of each pair of beams, guiding rain water down the ramp and away from the dirt paths. The kayaks are stored vertically, leaning against the thick southern wall which acts as a thermal mass to help cool the boathouse. As kayaks are rented and removed, a slit of southern light is revealed.
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