Irvine Nature Center

Owings Mills, MD

Exhibits, nature store, auditorium, education spaces
Library, offices, meeting rooms
Workshop, seed storage silo, tool and equipment storage
Designated a Maryland Green Center by the Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education
Irvine Nature Center
Fundraising Materials, Cost Estimating, Sustainable Design, Full Design Services, Construction Administration

Imagined as a collection of reused agricultural structures—native barns and a silo—amassed in the essence of sustainability, the new Irvine Nature Center demonstrates the client’s mission of environmental exploration, respect, and protection. At one with the site, the building embraces the raw contours, both respecting and integrating with the natural features and resources of the land.

Visitors traverse a bioretention swale via a raised wooden deck as they enter the center, immediately understanding the richness of the 116-acre site. An enticing prelude to site exploration, interior views out maintain a dialogue with the environment during the educational and orientation experience.

“We recognize that our building is as much an educational tool as our programs, and we look forward to sharing it with the thousands of visitors that we will welcome each year.” 

—Gregory Pinkard, Site Planning Committee Chair, Irvine Nature Center

The center features numerous sustainable design features, including a green roof over the nature store, geothermal heating and cooling, bioretention gardens, porous paving, rain garden and rain barrels, and extensive natural daylighting.