Mountain Town Planning by a Mountain Village Architect in Cashiers NC
Rand Soellner Architect was commissioned to design a new town center for this mountain village in this Blue Ridge Mountain community. Soellner has a specialty in mountain town planning, having had special education in urban planning and city design while at the University of Florida during his graduate studies. The developer had some things to accomplish. Among them, Soellner provided a mini-lake at the center of the complex, with a boardwalk around the perimeter and several shops and restaurants with posts actually in the water, giving diners and shoppers exciting views from on top of the water.
In addition, there is a major grocery store and enough room for perhaps 20 professional offices, several thousands of square feet of retail space and additional restaurants, and a gas station. Parking is provided in “mini-lots” directly in front of most of the shops, for convenience and to help resurrect that Old Towne feel for something special in this mountain town planning effort.
There are two main entries and a third for the gas station. Integral to this mountain town planning are materials indigenous to the Appalachian mountains: native rock, timber frame structures, post and beam and flagstone pavers. Windows are planned in the Craftsman Style tradion, with a 9-lite prairie grille.
published in the Crossroads Chronicle
Soellner’s idea for mountain town planning : shoppertainment.
One of the most important aspects to Rand Soellner’s mountain town planning is the design of a place where people can go for “Shoppertainment.” This is a phrase that Soellner uses to describe the recreational aspects of the mercantile experience. “There is nowhere to go around here for purely the entertainment involved with shopping,” said Soellner, “With such a scenic place in these mountains, that seems a shame, so we are creating that here.” Soellner’s idea is to have this become a destination in its own right; a place that has a regional and interstate draw, that people from as far away as Atlanta, Charlotte and Chattanooga will come to visit.
Mountain town planning summary.
“This isn’t just town planning,” said Soellner, “this is mountain town planning. There has not been much of this in the world.” Soellner likes the idea of making a natural feature like a pond the focus of this special place, a pleasant and inspiring location to continue walking past while engaged in the shopping visit. These are the sorts of things that Soellner believes will turn this into a much-loved location in this mountain village.
Contact information for mountain town planning:
Rand Soellner Architect