- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 15 May 2018
Ark Encounter, Kentucky
On 7 July 2016, the Ark Encounter opened to the public in Northern Kentucky, USA. Described as a 'one-of-a-kind historically-themed attraction', the 800-acre biblical theme park's centrepiece is a full-size version of Noah's Ark. Standing at 25 m (81 ft) tall and 160 m (510 ft) in length, it is the largest freestanding, timber-frame structure in the world.
The project has been led by Ken Ham, the founder, president and CEO of Answers in Genesis, a creationism group which advocates 'Biblical literalism', that is, the Book of Genesis is historical fact and the Earth is only 6,000 years old.
The Ark was constructed to the biblical dimensions using approximately 7,800 m3 of timber from renewable forests and following LEED-certified methods, including geothermal heating and rainwater capture.
More than 1,000 Amish craftsmen were used to build the ark, adopting timber framing techniques that, wherever possible, replicated those that would have been used in the ancient era, including manually bending the timber rather than steaming it. However, not all the proposed techniques passed building standards – such as the original plan to use wooden pegs instead of steel fasteners.
The first phase of the park cost $100 million and the park's operators plan new additions, including a model of the Tower of Babel and a replica of a 1st century Middle Eastern village. However, it has been beset with controversy for receiving an $18 m tax incentive, for its hiring standards, and for presenting 'anti-science arguments' to children.
For more information, see Ark Encounter.
Images courtesy of ALR Communications.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Building of the week series.
- Dali Theatre and Museum.
- Dunmore Pineapple.
- Luxor Las Vegas.
- Mimetic architecture.
- Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum.
- Norwegian Mountaineering Center.
- Robot Building, Bangkok.
- The Atomium.
- The Big Basket.
- The Oculus.
- Unusual building design of the week.
- Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir.
Featured articles and news
There are many ways of classifying types of building. Have a look at our range of building articles.
BSRIA have launched the 'major update' of the go-to design framework guide for building services.
How to get results with building life cycle assessment.
Government publishes a prospectus inviting proposals for new 'garden communities'.
The Morandi motorway bridge in Genoa collapses during rainstorm while undergoing maintenance works.
'Developed design' is a phrase coined by the RIBA for their 2013 Plan of Work. But what does it actually mean?
New green paper published aiming to rebalance the relationship between landlords and residents and tackle stigma.
RIBA calls for a comprehensive ban on combustible materials.
Lump sum contracts can be referred to as ‘fixed price’ contracts, although strictly this is not correct. Find out more here.
Ramboll offer guidance to civil engineers on how to make projects 'off-site ready'.
Government announces its Rough Sleeping Strategy, with further funding for social housing.