"A nice piece of simple, understated architecture and a good visual representation of the state's reinvestment in our park system statewide."
"It demonstrates the spirit of the Community Award in its programmatic contribution to the community, its site sensitivity, and most of all its attention to sustainability." - AIA WNY Jury comments
The new Nature Center is designed to serve as both an educational hub for students of all ages, to be taught the benefits of engaging with nature, as well as an inspiration for practicing the principles of environmental sustainability. The new facility will provide a new home for the Friends of Robert Moses State Park Nature Center, offering office space, a large welcoming entrance hall, and exhibit hall, flexible classroom/labs and support functions such as a kitchenette, gift shop, and ski rental area. As a leader in responsible uses of energy, NYPA has required that the new center attain a LEED Silver Certification rating.
While the architectural style of the building is intended to compliment the original structures in the park, with the use of natural stone and exposed wood structure, the new facility also incorporates state of the art technologies and innovative sustainable design features. For example, the HVAC system uses geothermal wells to significantly reduce energy, and rain water is collected in a large cistern to be recycled for irrigation.
The new building is placed at the rear of property, nestled into the existing trees, immersed into the natural setting. The green space in the middle of the loop road is intended to serve as bio-filtration area for storm water runoff, conceived as a natural meadow for non-invasive native plant species.