On Saturday, June 23, NOVA Parks celebrated the ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony of the Jean R. Packard Occoquan Center, a new multi-purpose park building. A prominent feature of the building is ‘The River View at Occoquan,’ an elegant wedding and special events venue for up to 300 guests with sweeping views of the Occoquan River, including a terrace and garden area. Located on the upper level, ‘The River View at Occoquan’ also includes the '1608 Room' lobby with interpretive education displays about the history of the park and site. The lower level contains the riverfront ‘Brickmaker’s Café’ with indoor and outdoor seating, waterfront plaza and boardwalk, park offices, and various associated amenities. Other project features include a private hospitality suite in a renovated historic building, ‘The Pavilion’ for large outdoor events, and a 5k trail loop around the site.
True to GWWO’s focus on story-based design, the concept for the Jean R. Packard Occoquan Center reflects its unique physical setting and history, intertwining the design of the facility with the park’s existing palette. Driven by the contrast between, and union of, two halves—one light and open (public/events) and the other solid and heavy (support)—the architectural expression is articulated through the use of different structural systems and materials: delicate steel and glass on the west side allowing for expansive views of the river, and heavy timber and wood cladding on the east. It has been designed to embody and represent the spirit of the park, while providing effective, efficient facilities that will meet every user's need. The result is a wedding and celebration destination that will leave a lasting impression on every guest that crosses its threshold. The project has been designed to achieve LEED Silver certification.