Montgomery Bell State Park Inn
The Inn at Montgomery Bell is nestled into a hillside on the banks of Lake Acorn, hosting state park guests, meetings and conventions year-round. A new renovation created an opportunity to weave art into the new design and correct some long-standing wayfinding challenges. The Inn at Montgomery Bell engaged McCoy Design to create a statement art piece to welcome guests as well as design a new wayfinding system throughout the property.
Thanks to the state park’s hilly Tennessee terrain, most of the inn’s guest rooms and amenities are located below the lobby, accessed by two different elevators. Conference rooms are tucked around a corner to create separation from the rest of the inn. Both scenarios created a counterintuitive wayfinding challenge.
The client challenged us to design an art piece with corresponding wayfinding that would speak to Montgomery Bell State Park’s overall history and highlight the park’s lush tree coverage. The piece would use only project-approved materials and would function as a visual element, not a park map.
For the art piece, we arranged stained wood pieces in various sizes and shapes in differing angled directions, “puzzle-piecing” them together to represent the MBSP tree canopy. We used glass to represent water, and blackened metal for the roadways. The end product is a highly stylized and abstracted map of the MBSP site, installed on an entry wall. It’s the first element visitors experience upon arrival to the newly renovated Inn, setting the brand tone and creating an Instagrammable moment for park guests and meeting attendees alike.
We created a wayfinding system that echoes the art piece, using similar materials that honor the history of the site, reflect the surrounding natural environment, and elevate the newly renovated spaces.
We used thoughtful design to connect the inn's day-to-day functionality with its historic natural setting.
EOA Architects PLLC
Aerial Innovations Southeast, Inc.