Rest Area Wilderness Experience: Reimagining the Design of Rest Areas on Interstate 64

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Virginia Tech


Wilderness has inspired the imagination and passion of Americans for the past two centuries. However, the places that are most often designated as wilderness are frequently far away and difficult for most people to access. It is therefore important to understand how the idea of wilderness can be rescaled and rethought to allow for its benefits to be more attainable within common and accessible areas. Interstate rest areas provide an excellent subject to study how a wilderness experience can be designed within an area not typically associated with wild nature. The rest areas on Interstate 64 in Virginia provide a good opportunity to conduct this study due to the variety ecological conditions that the interstate passes through. This thesis explores the varying conditions of all the rest areas on Interstate 64 in Virginia and develops a design for one of them, New Kent County Eastbound at mile marker 213. This design process is a site specific model for designing a wilderness experience at an interstate rest area that provides opportunities to experience local ecology, improve storm water management features, and increase wildlife habitat.



Landscape Architecture, Wilderness Design, Interstate Rest Areas, Interstate-64, Virginia Ecology