A 644-acre tract of land in Gloucester, VA is the site of the state’s latest public park. Aptly named “Machicomoco,” the new park serves as a destination for Virginians and other interested tourists to immerse themselves into the early Native American culture of the region. The park is situated such that it serves as the gateway to the long-ago Native American village of Werowocomoco, the former home of Pocahontas and her father, Chief Powhatan.
Tasked with designing a campground, complete with cultural center, referred to as an “interpretive peninsula,” and kayak launch area, the Charlottesville firm, Nelson Byrd Woltz (NBW), was presented with the challenge of ensuring that all structures strictly adhered to an authentic, period design, meaning making use of the natural materials that native people would have used during the time period.
Given the Virginia Park Service’s concern over the use of natural materials (e.g. - wood) in creating structures that could be relatively maintenance-free, withstand the elements, and last for many decades, NBW specified the use of thermally modified poplar as part of its plans for exterior siding. “In doing research for thermally modified wood, I was introduced to the Americana™ brand of products,” said Rob Haven, project manager with Henderson, Inc., the builder selected to construct the campground and its various facilities, including a restroom (pictured). “Although this is the first time our firm has worked with the Americana siding, the wood is very easy to work with, and I’m really impressed that such a durable product can be created with nothing but heat and steam. If the opportunity presents itself, we’ll certainly be glad to build with Americana products again,” added Haven.
The crews at Henderson, Inc. broke ground on the Machicomoco campground project in September 2019. The project is slated for completion in June 2020.
Location: Machicomoco Campground Gloucester, VA
Architect: Nelson Byrd Woltz, Charlottesville, VA
Builder: Henderson, Inc., Williamsburg, VA