Grand Teton Discovery and Visitor Centre
by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

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Grand Teton Discovery and Visitor Center by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

A forest of timber columns and a stone fireplace feign a woodland campsite inside a visitor centre at the Rocky Mountains.

Grand Teton Discovery and Visitor Center by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Completed by American architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson back in 2007, the Grand Teton Discovery and Visitor Centre is located in a national park in the Teton Range.

Grand Teton Discovery and Visitor Center by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

A chunky concrete chimney surges up from the stone fireplace at the corner of the main gallery and through a jolting roof.

Grand Teton Discovery and Visitor Center by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

A zig-zagging glass wall around the hall provides visitors with a panoramic view out to the surrounding landscape.

Grand Teton Discovery and Visitor Center by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Stone ledges line this wall to create a length of benches.

Grand Teton Discovery and Visitor Center by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Other mountainside projects recently featured on Dezeen include a triangulated glass and steel restaurant in a remote gorge and a red-striped health centre in the Spanish Sierra de Gardor.

Grand Teton Discovery and Visitor Center by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Photography is by Nic Lehoux, apart from where otherwise stated.

Grand Teton Discovery and Visitor Center by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

The following information was provided by the architects:


Grand Teton Discovery and Visitor Center
Grand Teton National Park

The realm of the Tetons is an extraordinary place in our western landscape. The tectonic uplift of the Tetons and the valley’s glacial past can be read easily. The building is placed at the edge of the riparian forest in a sagebrush meadow, enabling visitors to sense the meandering river and confront the great mountain range.

Grand Teton Discovery and Visitor Center by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

One is drawn around the edge of the building to a courtyard that all but occludes the Tetons. It is a calm, introspective place. A colonnade of massive tree trunks borders its perimeter to provide shade and shelter on three sides of the sunlit space.

Grand Teton Discovery and Visitor Center by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Above: photograph by Edward Riddell

Visitors passing through the entrance vestibule are compressed before emerging into an expansive light-filled space. They stand in a grove of great columns that recall the primeval forest, confronted by the jagged spires and drama of the Tetons.

Grand Teton Discovery and Visitor Center by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

As a counterpoint to the tranquil court, the interior’s geometry is fractured. This seemingly haphazard arrangement of logs choreographs the movement of people through uplifted forms that house interpretive exhibits.

Grand Teton Discovery and Visitor Center by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

A rugged fireplace is at the building's psychological and physical heart. Stone outcroppings form sitting ledges and the base for timber-formed concrete planks stacked to make the chimney, a vertical marker in the landscape.

Grand Teton Discovery and Visitor Center by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Choreography and emotionally laden materials connect people viscerally to the Teton landscape. This is a building that is sensibly ordered and surprisingly evocative, shaped to the nature of the land and the people who visit it.

Grand Teton Discovery and Visitor Center by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Location: Grand Teton National Park in Moose, Wyoming
Dates: 2001 - 2007
Building Area: 23,000 gross square feet
Principal for Design: Peter Q. Bohlin, FAIA
Project Manager: Raymond S. Calabro AIA, Principal
Project Architect: David Miller
Project Team: Mark Adams, Zeke Busch, Christian Evans, Michelle Evans, Michael Maiese, Jessica O'Brien, Daniel Ralls
Client: National Park Service, Grand Teton National Park Foundation, Grand Teton Association
Project Consultants: Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Beaudette Consulting Engineers, GPD, P.C., Renfro Design Group, Inc., Swift Company LLC, The Greenbusch Group Inc., Davis Langdon, Nelson Engineering, Matrix IMA
Jack Soeffing
General Contractor: Intermountain Construction Inc.
Photographers: Nic Lehous, Florence McCall, Edward Riddell

  • http://www.dailygrail.com/ red pill junkie

    I assume those massive windows are double insulated, to endure the low temperatures.

    The timber columns are awesome.

  • fergus

    Double insulated, what is that? Even if they were argon filled triple-glazed with low-e coating with a warm spacer in thermally insulated widow frames one would still wonder from as this expansive glazing seems to cover the north facade of the building. That said I'm sure the views of the mountains are spectacular. The scheme does kinda seem a bit like a scaled up version of one of their big contemporary log cabins though.

  • yuc

    It is hard to ccreate something attractive out of the combination of massive wooden elements with slender metal frames. those structures are nice in themselves, but bizarre when put together.

  • roel

    simply beautiful, great combinations of techniques and materials, fantastic views, I feel at home only by looking at it, very nice job!

  • http://twitter.com/danbulgen @danbulgen

    This is stunning… love the columns