Our Work

Eastman Nature Center

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    • the new Eastman Nature Center fits comfortably into its surrounding forest setting
    • Overview

      Three Rivers Park District’s goal for the new Eastman Nature Center is to create a stimulating learning environment that heightens the awareness of nature in a highly sustainable building.

      The design integrates site, building, and exhibit design in order to create a holistic visitor experience in the forest. A long south facing glass facade brings in light, passive solar energy, and extends the exterior paths through the building from the understory on one end to the tree canopy on the other. An active solar array and a geothermal-based heating and cooling system provide much of the energy needs. Operable windows provide ventilation and bring in the sounds and smells of the forest. Roof water feeds a pond to draw birds and animals for human observation.

    • the center is popular with school groups, families, and individuals coming to hike, snowshoe, ski, and view wildlife
    • the south facade allows daylighting, passive solar heating, and opportunities to view birds and animals at a small pond and feeders
    • the center is also popular as home to an owl, which lives both inside and outside the building, that is on view to visitors
    • as trailhead to an extensive trail system, the building offers a place to rest, enjoy refreshments, as well as snowshoe and ski rental
    • a range of interactive exhibit options provide opportunities for play and learning to kids of all ages
    • exhibits also encourage interaction with the surrounding forest through views to the outside and the incorporation of educational works of art
    • a comfortable viewing porch gives visitors a quiet place to watch and learn about the various birds that visit the center's feeders and pond
    • the viewing porch extends into screened and open porches, for watching birds and wildlife during warmer weather
    • Specifications

      Location: Dayton, Minnesota

      Type: New construction

      Size: 12,000 square feet

      Sustainable design: State of Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines (B3)

    • Project Contact

      Thomas Meyer

      • Architect / Principal
      • thomas@msrdesign.com
      • 612 359 3222
      • View Bio