Freshwater Ecology Research Center Concept Design
Our concept design for a Freshwater Ecological Center is based on the goal to integrate architecture with nature. By creating a facility that lightly sits on the site, we maximized views to the lake while also preserving existing tree groupings.
The parking is nestled into the existing site vegetation in order to minimize impact on the natural area. Instead of manicured landscaping, we put rain gardens between the parking and the building, which will capture roof run-off.
The program is organized in two pavilions, one focused on the ecology labs and one with the conference center. Students have multiple learning options, including a teaching lab, chemistry lab, prep lab, and fisheries lab. These were designed with flexibility in mind, as well as durable materials and views to the outside. The fisheries lab offers direct access to the outdoor lab area via doorways and a large overhead garage door. A mudroom provides a transition space for moving equipment, as well as showers for clean up after a day of research.
The conference center pavilion provides a space for science and industry to come together. The pre-function space wraps from the entry lobby around to the lakeside, screen-in porch. In addition, the back-of-house spaces can provide direct access to the exterior for loading and service. Materials for the conference pavilion will be a simple palette that focuses on the warmth of the wood structure.
The innovative facility allows faculty and students to immerse themselves into the ecology of the area, sparking a passion for state-of-the-art research contributions.