DuPont Environmental Education Center

Wilmington, DE

Details
Indoor and outdoor exhibits, multipurpose room, ecology classroom, offices
Multi-level viewing tower and terraces, boardwalk
Sustainable design features
Design Architect: GWWO, Inc./Architects; Managing Firm: Becker Morgan Group
Owner
Riverfront Development Corporation
Services
Programming, Site Analysis, Cost Estimating, Sustainable Design, Interior Design, Full Design Services, Construction Administration

Elevated above the marshlands, the new DuPont Environmental Education Center at the Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge responds to the dynamics of the surrounding natural systems—tidal river and wetlands—as well as infrastructural site elements: an adjacent railway, high voltage power lines, and multiple utility rights of way.

Visible from major transportation routes, including two interstate highways, the building acts as a beacon marking the terminus of the city’s riverwalk. It is sited inside the refuge, supporting the client’s goal of creating a symbiotic relationship between urban development along the waterfront and the natural environment.

What Our Clients Say

“The success of this project is due, in large part, to the vision of Alan Reed, who envisioned the building sitting here at the edge of the wildlife refuge ...”

—Mike Purzycki, Executive Director, Riverfront Development Corporation

Suggestive of the nearby working railroad bridge and the industry that dominates adjacent sites, the detailing of the bridge and building are juxtaposed with the framed view of the refuge that greets visitors as they approach, highlighting the tenuous connection between man and nature.  

Entering on the third level, visitors explore an interactive exhibit area while surrounded by views to the City and natural setting that are the subject of the interpretation. Cantilevered covered decks extend the experience outdoors and offer vast panoramic views across the wetlands. The lower level classroom becomes an indoor laboratory for examination of specimens collected on site.  

Awards

AIA Delaware Design Honor Award
AIA Maryland Excellence in Design Merit Award
AIA Baltimore Grand Design Award
AIA Baltimore Design Award
IFMA Delaware Chapter Green Building Award