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Indian Springs MetroPark James Clarkson Environmental Discovery Center

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Project Description

The Environmental Discovery Center at Indian Springs Metropark is the point of arrival for education groups and interested visitors to the restored wetlands and ecosystems of the Metropark, with the 18,000 sf structure acting as the threshold between our everyday view of the world and the rich and diverse worlds within wetlands and natural habitat. Conceptually the Indian Springs Environmental Education Center (ISEEC) is about revealing this knowledge of nature’s wetlands; a knowledge that must be sought by delving deeper both intellectually and literally into the water’s edge. The Center is representational of the low rolling hills of the Indian Springs Metropark; hills just high enough to hinder one’s view until they are crested or passed. It is a long low bar set at the edge of the wetland. The Center forms an opaque, gently sloping edge at the parking lot that shields the wetlands from view, and from the inside, hides the view of the lot, thereby creating a portal into the education environment.

Once inside, the transparent southern façade of the long bar type structure exposes the wetland view to every room. The ISEEC is a two-story building bent into a discovery wing on the east and a multi-purpose room on the west. It is entered at the main floor and descended in to reach the lower floors. Much as the educational knowledge of wetlands are revealed from top to bottom, the building is experienced from above the water, at the water, and ultimately under the water.
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