Shawnee Outdoor Learning Center Louisville, Kentucky
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About this project
Luckett & Farley is providing full design services for this landmark structure which will offer the community a natural and innovative collaboration space, a dining area and partial kitchen, and classroom/outdoor spaces for children on field trips. The project is being designed to LEED platinum specifications and required community input throughout the design process. The building extends over the flood plain on piers and is designed to handle flooding as the Ohio River rises. The main feature of the design is the central gallery/hallway that connects all the adjoining spaces.
Luckett & Farley provided full design services for this new 2 story nature center in Shawnee Park in Louisville, KY. The design is LEED platinum and required community input throughout the design process. The building extends over the floodplain on piers and is designed to handle flooding as the Ohio River rises. This elevation provides access to the tree canopies and a great view down the Ohio River. The building will serve multiple programmatic purposes. The main purpose is to provide classroom and outdoor spaces for children on field trips. The entry area and gallery will serve as community spaces and include a rock climbing wall and art exhibit. It has a green roof that will serve as a public gathering space. The building also has a garage and shop that will serve to build and houseboats and canoes to be used by the students and visitors. The building will house the offices of the administration running these programs.
The main feature of the design is the central gallery/hallway that serves all the adjoining spaces. It has exposed wood columns, trusses and beams to express the nature that will be viewed from the building. The building is intended to be surrounded by nature and has multiple green roofs, so it will eventually disappear into the landscape.It is intended to be a platform for viewing the nature outside of the building and the views down the Ohio River. The site also included adjoining gardens, nature play, and outdoor classrooms intended to serve the students and visitors. The building is designed to be LEED platinum. Systems incorporated into the design include geothermal wells, photovoltaic panels, LED lighting and graywater harvesting to achieve the LEED Platinum certification. The large northern windows and other windows throughout the building provide 360-degree views of nature and provide abundant natural light. Materials with low odor and low VOC were used to meet LEED requirements and provide the optimal indoor air quality. The project is a piece of a larger West Louisville Outdoor Recreational initiative intended to provide much-needed connections to nature in West Louisville.
Building over the floodplain creates unique challenges that are not part of a typical design project. The funding for the design fees was from multiple sources and required expert coordination of fees and contracts with the client. The LEED platinum systems are being fit into an extremely tight space that still maintains an airy light-filled atmosphere with the emphasis on nature.
Louisville Parks & Recreation Construction
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