EMERYVILLE, Calif., Aug. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In celebration of the National Park Service Centennial on August 25, Siegel & Strain Architects salutes the National Park Service (NPS) for 100 years of safeguarding the nation's natural and cultural heritage, and making it more accessible to all. Siegel & Strain is proud to have played a part in that effort for the past 15 years, working with NPS on more than 30 projects throughout the West, from new master plans supporting growth and diversity of park visitation to the design of new buildings that serve NPS's environmental education mission. This work is commemorated in a blog post on select projects and a graphic timeline honoring their important work with NPS.
Most recently, Siegel & Strain collaborated with environmental non-profit NatureBridge and NPS on the National Environmental Science Center in Yosemite National Park, California, a 17-building residential education center with dining hall, cabins, bath houses, classrooms, and a fire station, to serve some 13,000 students and instructors who visit annually. The design is itself an interactive model of sustainability. Aiming to achieve zero net energy and LEED Platinum certification, the project also targets 60% efficiencies versus conventional water use, and minimizes material waste.
"This project embraces our commitment to sustainable design in an environment where sustainability is not only impactful but entirely necessary," says Siegel & Strain co-founder and principal Henry Siegel, FAIA. "Going into its next century, NPS places high importance on its role as a model for environmental stewardship. It also embraces our firm's core values around incorporating the wider needs of both visitors and surrounding communities."
Siegel & Strain also led the development of a new master plan for the Yosemite Valley Lodge, built over 50 years ago and needing upgrades for today's growing number of visitors. The Yosemite Valley Village Store will be re-purposed into the primary "port-of-entry" for visitors to Yosemite Valley. The design will return the space to the original glassy pavilion that focuses on views to Glacier Point to the south. New decks and entry doors provide access from all sides as well as ample space for outdoor kiosks and exhibits. New exhibits are designed to orient visitors to major park sites and get them to their destinations quickly. This project was designed in concert with a major reconfiguration of roads and parking throughout the Valley to improve the visitor experience.
As NPS sees visitor numbers grow, the diversity of visitors is broadening as well, acknowledges Nancy Malone, AIA, Siegel & Strain principal and LEED Fellow. She says, "In our collaboration with NPS, we are continually looking at how to adapt facilities, now and into the future, for a more culturally diverse population. For example, we know that we need to develop different types of picnic areas and trails for differing kinds of visitor groups. At Sequoia National Park we are helping them plan a new category of affordable lodging—something between camping and higher-end accommodations."
Other NPS / Siegel & Strain collaborations include:
Redwood National & State Parks Visitor Center for Save the Redwoods League – Orick, California
Wawona Wildland Fire Fighting Facility – Yosemite National Park, California
Pinnacles Visitor Center & Fire / Search & Rescue Building – Pinnacles National Park, California
Concord Hills Regional Park Joint Use Visitor Center – Port Chicago, Concord, California
Lodgepole & Grant Grove Visitor Centers & Giant Forest Museum – Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, California
Presidio Historic Hangars, Building 643 – San Francisco, California
Presidio Hill Radio Building – San Francisco, California
Presidio Rob Hill Campground: Activity Pavilion & Bathhouse – San Francisco, California
Presidio Stewardship & Sustainability Center – San Francisco, California
Presidio Historic Queen Anne Houses – San Francisco, California
Fort Winfield Scott Historic Structures Reports – The Presidio of San Francisco, California
Furnace Creek Visitor Center – Death Valley National Park, California
Zzyzx Mineral Springs Historic District – Mojave National Preserve, California
Yosemite Indian Cultural Center – Yosemite National Park, California
Responding to the scale and particularities of visitor expectations at National Parks comes naturally to the Siegel & Strain design team. The firm's emphasis on site-sensitive design together with its ability to engage and consider all stakeholders gives the firm a passion and perspective that aligns with NPS's core values and mission of preserving the country's national parks.
ABOUT SIEGEL & STRAIN
Located in Emeryville, California, Siegel & Strain Architects is an innovative design firm with a commitment to sustainable design and superior client responsiveness. The firm has won more than 70 design awards, including four AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten Green Projects awards, for projects that range from institutional and historic to residential.
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SOURCE Siegel & Strain