THE NEST - Guadalupe Nipomo Dunes Wildlife Refuge Interpretive Center


THE NEST - Guadalupe Nipomo dunes wildlife refuge Interpretive Center

STUDENT   Edern Audrain
California Polytechnic State University

FACULTY SPONSOR   Jonathan Reich
California Polytechnic State University


The purpose of the Guadalupe Nipomo Dunes Interpretive Center is to provide basic visitor information and facilities at the entrance to the dunes and also to provide visitors fully accessible but limited access, to experience and thus hopefully value this landscape, by means of a controlled walkway into the dunes which will not interfere with the seasonal sensitivities of the flora and fauna there. The “passive designed” building, intended to take advantage of the mild and very constant temperatures there, is equipped with triple glazing and extra insulation and mainly serves to protect users from the wind and wind-driven sand. Steel is proposed as the dominate structural material for its efficient strength to weight ratio and for minimizing the on-site construction impact through use of carefully designed parts which can be installed piece by piece. Steel is also employed as the exterior cladding sun/rain/sand screen and for the many building specialties (railings, fittings, etc.) utilizing 316 stainless steel alloy for its renowned weathering resistance. Different finishes and hues in the steel allow the building to have different visual appearances in the landscape depending on the light, at times glittering object in the sand and at times reflective of the subtle colors in the sky at dawn or sunset. This design for the building to be perched on the edge of the bluff over the river allows the visitors an extraordinary viewpoint from which to survey much of the landscape; the river, the ocean, the dunes, the former oilfield, the distant farms, and allows close interaction with the dune-scape itself via the two accessible walkways - one leading visitors from the parking lot to the building and the other leading visitors deep into the dunes.