Robinson Nature Center was the recipient of a 2014 WoodWorks Award, which celebrates excellence in wood design, engineering and construction as well as innovative projects that showcase various attributes of wood including strength, beauty, and sustainability.
WoodWorks received 140 nominations that spanned eight different categories. The GWWO designed Robinson Nature Center was named the winner in the Institutional Wood Design category, which recognizes the benefits of wood in applications such as libraries, municipal buildings and recreational facilities.
There were three influential factors in GWWO’s choice to use wood as the project’s main material— aesthetics, sustainability, and ease of construction. Foremost, as a nature center, it was extremely important that Robinson appear modest upon approach while also minimizing the impact on the site and working in harmony with the setting. By using cedar for the exterior, the siding blends seamlessly with the natural landscaping of the site, making it aesthetically pleasing to the eye and leaving nature itself as the main focal point of the attraction. Inside, the rich tones provided by the ash slats and oak flooring provide a warm welcome for visitors. Secondly, achieving the highest level of LEED Certification possible was of paramount importance and by using wood that was either FSC-Certified, low-emitting, recycled and/or regionally produced, the nature center was able to achieve Platinum Certification. Finally, the ease of construction that is inherent with wood in comparison with other materials, including its forgiving nature and production ease, made it an easy choice. Throughout the facility, one can find multiple types of wood including ash, cedar, southern pine, and oak.