The objective of the competition is to design a Nature Center and Environmental Research Facility. This facility will support university research into local ecological preservation efforts and be used as an immersive teaching experience for the public. The project is to use metal building construction with a maximum of two stories.

Nature Center and Environmental Research Facility (Summary of spaces – click here for complete specifications)

The specifications are provided as a guide to the spaces that should be considered in your design.  Feel free to impart your own ideas for the facility to serve the university and the public.

Site200Covered entry
Exterior Spaces4,870Entry plaza, garden/green spaces, observation deck, covered picnic area, bike rental/storage/maintenance, restrooms, trailhead marker
Public Spaces9,180Vestibule, reception, lobby, museum, exhibit gallery, theatre/auditorium, gift shop/bookstore, café, event space, warming kitchen, table/chair storage, restrooms
Nature Center Administration2,0307 private offices, 6 staff workstations, administrative conference room, kitchenette, restrooms, file storage, work area for copying, printing, etc.
Environmental Education1,000Classroom setting and area for hands-on training/educational activities
Environmental Research1,200Research lab, exhibit space, library, restroom, break room, kitchenette
Utility Spaces1,620Mechanical, electrical, IT and maintenance rooms
Circulation1,900Corridors, hallways, monumental stair, fire stair(s), elevator (if multiple stories)
Parking*13,000Public, staff, administrative personnel parking areas
Public Exterior Space*1,000Plaza or park space for public use/gathering
*Not Included in Total Square Footage

Sustainability Aspect
This new facility should embody the city’s commitment to environmental responsibility and incorporate sustainable strategies into the way that the building is designed and operated.  In particular, the new facility should take advantage of the sustainability benefits associated with using metal building construction. (See the Resource Tab for Sustainability Information for Metal Buildings).

Judging Criteria
Criteria for the submission will include:

  • Demonstrates understanding of metal building construction
  • Suitable proposal for the context and architectural design
  • Technical integrity
  • Constructability and practicality
  • Overall presentation – video, graphics, renderings

Intellectual Property/ Copyright
The creator owns copyright of the project; however, MBMA reserves right to publish all materials and to modify presentation of images to better suit any publication format.

For use by others:


Work may be download and shared as long as the creator and competition are credit. The work may not be modified nor used commercially.