Rye Nature Center altRye Nature Center alt




Rye, NY


Friends of the Rye Nature Center

BKSK is designing two pavilions to meet the growing needs of the Rye Nature Center. These two structures will add three classroom spaces to allow for program growth. In the last decade, the demand for FRNC’s programs, camps, and visitor experiences has increased three-fold, from approximately 10,000 people in 2010 to 30,000 in 2019. These spaces, while meeting the program demand, will be located strategically to address operational constraints allowing instructors more uninterrupted program time. The thoughtful, sustainable design approach for these structures promotes the opposite of traditional building techniques. In lieu of well-sealed insulated buildings with low energy use achieving a rating, these structures are conceived as unconditioned open-air structures that do not need to be airtight and require very little energy to occupy.

The goal is to develop low-impact educational pavilions that make a notable environmental and functional contribution to the educational program. The project explores outdoor passive design concepts, positive habitat contribution, planning for disassembly while maximizing programmatic flexibility required for classes that are outdoors through all four seasons. This is direct reflection of the operational ethos of the Center with outdoor classes throughout the year engaging the children with the natural environment.