Devil's Lake State Park Interpretive Education Center

Baraboo, WI

Visitor orientation, exhibits, dining, retail
Multi-purpose room, classroom, offices
Amphitheater, outdoor classroom, nature play
Sustainable design features
Friends of Devil's Lake State Park
Programming, Site Analysis, Fundraising Materials, Community Involvement, Cost Estimating, Conceptual Design

Blurring the line between indoor and outdoor space, Talus—one proposed design concept for the new interpretive center—creates a physical connection to the unique geology of Devil’s Lake State Park.

Inspired by the edges, shade/shadow, and solid/void characteristics of the talus slope, the program is broken down into five distinct volumes that seamlessly blend into the landscape. Oriented to surrounding site features, the volumes are connected by interior corridors and outdoor decking allowing visitors to intimately engage with the talus geology while simultaneously enjoying views to the lake and bluffs. Like the experience of exploring the talus slope, visitors are pulled through the building on an everchanging path of discovery as new views are revealed.

Nestled into the toe of the talus slope, the buildings are clad in local Baraboo Quartzite and dark wood, blending with the existing buildings of the North Shore. Outdoor spaces are incorporated within the building volumes accentuating the indoor and outdoor relationships and utilizing the talus landscape as amphitheater seating or outdoor classroom furniture.