Onancock Harbor Master Building & Wharf Area Improvements
Hurricane Sandy brought unprecedented destruction to a number of shoreline communities, and, while the Town of Onancock fared better than many, they lost their existing harbormaster building to rising waters and flood damage. Grant monies were acquired, and Davis, Bowen & Friedel, Inc. (DBF), who served as the town’s municipal engineer and architect, was asked to step in and immediately prepare for the building’s redesign.
Even though the redesign was to happen quickly (to meet new program and flood zone requirements), the setting in historic Onancock and its inclusion in one of the more photogenic settings of the area demanded a thoughtful approach to the building’s design. The resultant architecture was a facility unique to its setting, while also compatible with the community. The plan itself comprised of an office for the harbormaster, laundry room, and four ADA compliant toilet/shower rooms for the convenience of visiting boaters. Unique to the building’s design was an ample central corridor from which access to all rooms is possible, but which can be closed in the off-season in such a way as to allow for the winter storage of outdoor furnishings, etc.
DBF also provided structural engineering services for the design of the new harbormaster building. The building is timber-framed construction with engineered timber roof trusses supported on a deep foundation of driven timber piles. Early design models were rendered in interactive computer three-dimensional graphics, and all design services were provided from concept through construction.
Furthermore, our firm was asked to provide master planning services to the wharf area surrounding the recently completed harbor master building, including evaluating the boat slip layout along the wharf area and providing several alternatives for slip layouts to accommodate the larger vessels that are common to the area. Master planning strategies also included the reconfiguration of boat ramp access and trailer parking. The introduction of additional commercial buildings improved pedestrian connectivity to downtown. DBF provided conceptual alternative plans, funding assistance, construction plans, construction administration services and permits for phase one improvements.
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