Primary Connections

6Primary Connections

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This is part of the pattern language developed by TKWA for the Cincinnati Nature Center.

CNC’s buildings, many of them inherited as former homes and farms, are suggestive of a community or family of structures rather than a distinct focal point. This manifests both positive and negative aspects. The positive aspect is that there is no one large structure dominating the site, and when simultaneous programs are occurring the impact on the site is spread out. The reduced scale of smaller buildings also keeps the focus on the most important feature of the site – their natural surroundings. A negative aspect is that the buildings may be too spread out, not coalescing into a greater, memorable whole.

Therefore:

Maintain a rich string of diverse structures rather than constructing a single large ‘center’, and site the new buildings to help reinforce a palpable campus feeling. This means a careful study of distances and relationships among the core elements (Visitor Center, Education, Krippendorf Preschool) which does not greatly exceed the current distance between the Rowe Visitor Center and Krippendorf Lodge. Distributing these structures will help their scale integrate with natural surroundings, and avoid any one large parking area to serve them. Tie the primary structures together with a primary path different in character and density of use than the hiking trails. Allow the width of the primary path to expand where necessary and to be culturally interpreted as is appropriate. The primary path could also be the All-Persons Trail. Wayfinding would be enhanced if the primary path was a loop that began and ended at the Large Outdoor Room.

Tom Kubala is principal of The Kubala Washatko Architects.
Tom Kubala

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