The Trinity River Audubon Center resides within the largest urban hardwood forest in the United States within a few miles of the nearby urban downtown environment. At this intersection of city and nature, the Center is sculpted by elements of the natural world – earth, water, and air. The Center was conceived as a teaching tool, promoting both a greater appreciation of surrounding ecosystems and an understanding of man’s impact on the environment. Today, visitors experience a transition to the forest and river ecosystems, and gain an understanding of this unique place that supports the coexistence of people, wildlife and vegetation. The facility distills the energy of this restored place through exhibits, classrooms, and research laboratories that celebrate the land.
The interior of the project was developed to provide the owner and end user with flexible spaces that would adapt for many uses. The larger open rooms provide spaces that can accommodate exhibits, receptions, conferences and other organized gatherings. The exhibit hall has a series of presentation elements that can evolve over time, interactive display components that can adapt for various themes, and an audio visual space that can be modified for a number of multi-media presentations.
*associate architect Antoine Predock Architect
The educational wing has a series of classrooms and laboratories that are connected to allow movable partitions to adapt the scale of each room. An outdoor ramped corridor reduces the square footage of interior conditioned space and provides elevated views of the site and interaction with the outdoors. Exterior spaces extend out from each of the wings; deep overhangs provide cooling shade for outdoor activities and connections to the trail heads. The facility was designed to provide the client with long term durability, flexibility, and minimal maintenance. Best of all, are the miles of trails for visitors to interact with their surroundings. The site for the center is also adjacent to a long time underserved community. The community can now directly benefit from the Audubon Center in many ways, having the opportunity to learn about their own backyard and how it was rehabilitated.