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Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District

Tappan Lake Park - Marina Renovation and Site Improvements

Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District engages Domokur & Associates for Tappan Lake Marina redesign

Project Details


The Muskingum River Watershed covers approximately 20% of Ohio. While the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District provides flood control management, water conservation strategies, and park education initiatives, it also ensures recreational opportunities are available for everyone to enjoy. Within the watershed area, Tappan Lake and its Marina play a key role in providing recreational water sports to the public. In late 2018, the District decided to renovate the Marina, and selected Domokur & Associates to renovate the existing 1964 Marina building.


After working closely with the District, we established a solid project direction. Our principal task was to create a destination to serve boaters and the general public by providing a more functional, modern, user-friendly experience, and to create spaces to better accommodate and educate visitors about the watershed area. The District itself was heavily involved throughout the project, and approached it with specific design standards. We helped them make more informed development decisions by providing a series of early feasibility studies. These included analyses of accessibility and life safety, building envelope performance, site circulation, site utilities, renewable energy options, and wastewater and water treatment strategies.


Together with the District, we suggested the Marina could better drive the recreational portion of the District’s mission: to encourage people to get outside and enjoy nature. The Marina’s lakeside setting, surrounded by forest landscapes and views, provided an opportunity to celebrate nature. This could be accomplished by improving the Marina’s ease of use and by dissolving the building’s boundary with the landscape. The existing building’s low-profile also provided a solid foundation to create a new building typology that reflected the District’s more nature-oriented brand.


New timber decks, patios, and walkways provide an easily navigable zone between the lake and the Marina building for people to enjoy. The renovated building has been given a new timber truss gable profile while large-format glazing on the building’s lakeside façade blurs the line between the exterior and interior, filling the building with more light and spectacular views.


The building’s internal layout has also been reconfigured to be more functional and easier to use. On the upper level, a strong axis was established within the building to provide unobstructed views of the lake when entering from the on-grade parking area. A larger, more modern restaurant, bar, kitchen, and rental space entices visitors into the building through the new vaulted entry. Below, and on the same level as the lake and docks, a service center, retail store, and suite of single-user restroom and shower rooms, accessed from the exterior, have been provided to better meet the needs of lake users.


A natural palette of timber, stone, and durable fiber cement siding was applied to the building’s façade to help it settle into its landscape. A similar material palette was used on the interior and helps to reinforce the District’s brand. Additional insulation, LED lighting systems, and geothermal heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems have been integrated to make the building more energy efficient and sustainable.  


Despite the challenges of COVID, we successfully delivered the renovation within budget and on time. The District’s successful Open House event, held shortly after construction was completed, demonstrated that the redesigned Marina would encourage people to get out and enjoy nature more. We look forward to following its performance and monitoring its future success.