FREEPORT, Maine--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Center, designed by SMMA | Symmes Maini & McKee Associates, and constructed by PC Construction Company, opened recently with a ribbon-cutting ceremony along scenic Brickyard Cove in Maine’s Casco Bay. The new Center replaces a series of smaller buildings on the Discovery Center’s site and serves as a new base lodge for L.L.Bean’s popular guided recreation experiences including kayaking, paddle boarding, snowshoeing, and cycling.
The design of the Center is inspired by its pristine Maine coast location, Maine cottage architecture, and the familiar L.L.Bean brand. “We wanted to design a building that emphasized the strong connection to the outdoors, and to blur the line between the interior spaces the outdoors,” said Mark Spaulding, SMMA’s project principal and lead architect. “The idea is to provide a memorable experience for L.L.Bean’s customers and visitors who come to enjoy the Maine environment.”
Designed for LEED certification, the building is oriented on an east/west axis, giving the main façade a wide frontage facing the water and a southern exposure for optimal use of sunlight and ocean breezes. All windows are operable, allowing visitors and staff to adjust interior temperature as needed. Nested gently into a hillside, the Center takes advantage of this configuration by providing an open basement level used primarily for storage, locker rooms and a bicycle workshop.
The interior is specifically designed to cater to the needs of L.L.Bean’s recreation customers and company staff. The main level features open ceilings with steel trusses and Douglas fir rafters and a sealed concrete floor with radiant heating. The primary customer space contains a large multipurpose room. Staff administrative space includes offices and a meeting area. A “great room” separates the two, and features computer kiosks for customers to explore other L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery School programs.
About SMMA: Founded in 1955, SMMA is a design firm specializing in Architecture, Engineering, Interior Design and Planning. With offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Providence, Rhode Island, the firm offers a multi-disciplinary approach grounded in the values of responsible design. SMMA’s expertise spans multiple project types guided by six core practice studios - Advanced Technology/Mission Critical; Corporate and Commercial; Government; Health + Science, Higher Education; and K-12.
About PC Construction: PC Construction offers general contracting, construction management and design-build services to private companies and public entities of all sizes. The company manages projects up and down the East Coast and in the southeastern United States from its corporate headquarters in South Burlington, Vermont and regional offices in Portland, Maine and North Carolina. A construction industry leader for 56 years, PC Construction (formerly Pizzagalli Construction) is guided to success by its more than 900 dedicated employee-owners.