Funded and developed through partnership between the Maryhill Museum of Art and Washington Department of Transportation, the Maryhill Overlook is an interpretive site installation that lies on a bluff above the Columbia River, within a high-desert landscape of sage, basalt outcroppings and native grasses. The Overlook is Allied Works’ first completed Sitings Project, one of a series of conceptual, site-specific proposals that interpret and respond to the diverse landscapes of the Pacific Northwest.
The Overlook is organized as a single ribbon of concrete that emerges from the earth, rising and falling as it moves to the edge of the bluff. Along its length are eight volumes that open and close to the sky. From a distance, the form dissolves and reemerges as line or plane in response to the quality of light, the weather, time of day and changing point of view. It is an ‘experiential aperture’ that gives orientation, and reference to its surroundings. Surfaces are marked by cuts that establish a specific relationship to the body and to the surrounding landscape. Across the Columbia, a flat stone promontory provides a focal point for the Overlook, both anchoring it to its place and extending its gaze into the high desert beyond.