Valcour welcome center
Dembling + Dembling Architects, P.C. was the architectural design consultant to Dufresne-Henry, Inc. (presently Stantec) on this project.
Valcour rest area is located on the northbound side of the I-87 corridor between Albany and the Canadian border in Clinton County, New York State.
The scope of the project included the demolition of an existing rest area facility and the design of a mixed-use replacement facility. This original rest area facility was built the in late 1960’s. There was no lobby area and the building did not comply with current guidelines for handicapped accessibility. Moreover, both public and commercial traffic has increased resulting in a need for a larger, more serviceable rest area. Due to severe deterioration, the Valcour Rest Area has been closed since 1991.
The new rest area was designed in the local farm vernacular to represent the region’s thriving agricultural apple industry. The building is modeled after a traditional apple farm barn. The site’s landscaping represents the uniformity of row plantings of an apple orchard. However, non-fruit-bearing trees were used to achieve the appearance without attracting pesky insects. The facility needs to be easily maintained, therefore requiring long lasting materials, such as standing seam metal roofing, stained cedar siding and exterior exposed timber framing.
The new 7,500 square foot facility combines several elements to assist the public. The facility provides an inviting rest for the traveling public. The lobby includes seating areas, tourist information brochure kiosks, public telephones and drinking fountains as well as multiple public restrooms, which are handicap accessible. The cupola has clerestory windows, which allow light to pour into the interior of the lobby. The sensible design and carefully integrated circulation control is intuitive and understandable for the first time visitor. An operations office for NYS DOT maintenance and truck personnel is combined with a New York State Police satellite office, which provides police presence for the safety of the public and the control of truck traffic.
As the first government building to be seen entering from Canada, the Valcour facility serves as a recognizable gateway, welcoming visitors to the Empire State.