Kansas City's Parks and Rec Department, in conjunction with the MO Department of Conservation, commissioned IAA to design a new nature center in Swope Park. The program specified a facility with exhibition space, large fish and reptile aquariums, classrooms with AV support rooms, staff offices, and an animal rehabilitation center. It was crucial that the new center display environmental awareness and responsibility, both in its design and programming.
Environmental conservation was at the forefront of IAA’s agenda. Lakeside Nature Center was designed with the notion of minimal site disturbance, and incorporated features like passive solar design elements, energy management systems, and sustainable materials. By carefully attending to these key technical issues, the resulting building harmonizes with its surroundings and communicates its mission to educate and encourage visitors to act as stewards of the natural environment.