Building the Missing Piece at Rib Mountain

IMG_0343Last month, in the crisp air and green woods at the top of Rib Mountain, the Friends of Rib Mountain gathered to break ground for their new Enclosed Shelter; a project they have spent the last three years dreaming of and raising funds to build. Excitement filled the air as they pushed shovels into the ground to formalize the start of construction to build the center.

“It’s a very exciting day,” said President, Sheryl Hemp. “We’re just so enthusiastic about the support along the way.”

This center is something that the group said is needed in the park, especially after the old enclosed shelter was torn down.

“I think it’s a little bit of the missing piece,” said Director, Paula Voss.

Jay Johnson, Ellis architect, has been working with the group for over a year to design a facility that provides space for meetings and gatherings, meets the budget, and does not conflict with the surrounding environment. The Enclosed Shelter will include a large multi-purpose space, lobby, restrooms, and storage areas. Once it’s complete, people can reserve it for events like weddings, parties, business meetings, and classes.

Johnson said the building features an architectural style that is complementary to the adjacent Ranger Station. The clearing of the land was done carefully to preserve as many of the trees as possible so that the building is nestled in the woods.

Work began last year with the site being cleared and now concrete is being poured to form the foundation. The facility should be finished by the end of August 2016.

The Friends of Rib Mountain continue to work to improve the park for everyone’s use. Ellis is proud to be working with this group. We would like to encourage you to learn more about their work and how you can be involved in this community-building organization.


Designing to Resolve Challenges

Church of The Resurrection Cupola PlacementWhen adding to the Church of the Resurrection in Wausau, a landmark building, there were many architectural design issues to consider. Such is the case in the family center addition to the church. The addition will be over 6,800 square feet and will include a drive-under canopy for use during inclement weather.

The center is being designed by Ellis architect Jay Johnson, who shared some of the design challenges for the project.

One of the project challenges is that the new building will be built between the church and the rectory that sit at different elevations. The church was built in 1912 and the rectory in 1949.

Creating a complementary façade that ties the two existing and the new buildings together is another challenge. Due to the different time periods that the church and rectory were built they are very different architecturally.

Creating a bright and airy facility enhancing the social opportunities that will take place in the building. Because the center is sitting between two buildings made it impossible to put in traditional windows; designing an octagon shaped cupola met this need and desire. The cupola continues the same design scheme that is found in the church, further blending the old and new buildings.

The time spent working with an experienced architect makes such a difference in a project. Taking the time to analyze needs, desires, and budget constraints is what Ellis architects do to ensure our clients have a functional and beautiful facility.

Jay Johnson award-winning architect for The Church of the Resurrection Family Center addition.