Thursday, June 12, 2008

NC Interstate Rest Stops

I have been admiring and trying to learn about the designer of several I-85 and I-95 rest stops in NC for some time. I gradually came to realize that there was something special going on, and that they have a common style. They create rest with their subtle architecture - people don't hurry through them as much as the dozens of other rest stops I also visit regularly. These are effective examples of the kind of architecture Ayn Rand rhapsodized about in The Fountainhead.

Here are photos from the NC Welcome Center at the southernmost part of I-95 in NC, on the northbound side (obviously). These day lilies were at their best, and the light made them glow.

This I-95 Robeson NC welcome center site, the I-85 Davidson rest area coming north (connected with the NC Vietnam Veterans Memorial, also a moving design), the I-85 Cabarrus rest area coming north, and two rest stops which both feature large circles on one side of the building (southbound I-85 Davidson, and the Cumberland rest area northbound on I-95 near Fayetteville) all seem to me to have the same hand at the drawing board. Northbound Davidson is my favorite, with the huge beds of day lilies and the steps leading down through the split rail fence to the building and a winding path through tall trees.

I've wanted to blog about these rest areas before - but I can't seem to take the kind of photos I want. No photo I can take will give an impression of the subtle relationships of buildings, roads, trees, flower beds, stonework, walk ways, topography, and open spaces which make these designs so effective.

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