(Please note: Area=15,894 sq. ft. (new) and 8,260 sq. ft. (existing))
The original education center was designed and built in the early 1970s. This project included a renovation and addition to the existing structure, creating a learning environment with an emphasis on communication and education. The newly modernized and enlarged facility provided for the CAPACITY450COST PER SQ FT$132.48CITATIONSpecialized Facility CitationFEATURED IN1999 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized of four multipurpose classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium with audiovisual capabilities, including Internet links, and headquarters for the Oklahoma Zoological Society.
The size and shape of the lot allowed increasing the building size, while the configuration maximizes usable interior and exterior spaces. Separating bus and car traffic provides distinguishable parent and bus-loop dropoffs, while allowing pedestrians safe access. The siting of these areas allows for more flexibility, better security and supervision by staff and volunteers.
Native stone walls, skylights and undulating exterior windows combine with exposed steel trusses in the common areas. The palette of materials is linked with extensive interior and exterior landscaping to blur the line from inside to outside, and set the stage for conservation and nature-education classes.
The building was conceived as a place to teach community awareness of conservation and animal education. Zoological programs directed toward children from throughout the state also have been implemented.
Photographers: ©Roger M. Bondy and ©D. Saytinger/OKC Zoo
"Good interior and exterior design...very impressive overall."—1999 jury