Carved Box | Valles Caldera Visitor Center

valles caldera visitor center modelHONGYI JIN_Fall 2011_conceptual rendering_exterior2bHongyi Jin_Carved Box_p2Hongyi Jin_Carved Box_p3Hongyi Jin_Carved Box_p1Hongyi Jin_Carved Box_p4 






A competition challenge initiated by the Van Allen Institute to design a visitor center for the Valles Caldera Preserve in New Mexico



New Mexico



Visitor center



Douglas Oliver



In collaboration with Ian Griffith and Adelina Koleva




The Valles Caldera is a one of the world’s greatest caldera national preserves in the New Mexico, U.S. The visitor center is designed with the notion of redefining and promoting national park for future developments. The project aims to positively engage the landscape while maintaining a minimum level of impact on the natural preserve.


The project contemplates on the relationship between the landscape and the building. The building is conceived as threshold between the natural landscape and human world.


The excavation of earth is the main strategy. To retain a positive yet subtle impact on the landscape, carving into the earth and reshaping the landscape with earth are the ideal solutions.

The rectangular box is the initial carving for the settlement of the project. The entrance and the exit are then carved to connect the building to the landscape. Using the same language, vertical and horizontal carves are operated to create program, lighting, accessibility.

Hongyi Jin_Carved Box_p1

Hongyi Jin_Carved Box_p4

HONGYI JIN_Fall 2011_conceptual rendering_exterior2b

Hongyi Jin_Carved Box_p2

Hongyi Jin_Carved Box_p3