Each year thousands of tourists pour into Yellowstone National Park to see some of the greatest wonders in the world. Their top destination? Old Faithful Geyser.
The famous geyser is the most predicable, erupting roughly every 91 minutes and shooting boiling water up to 185 feet in the air.
In August of 2010, the new Old Faithful Visitor Education Center opened with a way of telling those from across the world just how some of these hydrothermal wonders came to be. Through donations, foundations raised $15 million to build the new center, which was matched with $12 million dollars of federal funding for it. The building earned at Gold Level LEED Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and the structure can withstand all of the seismic and geothermal activity in the park.
CTA Group Architects said they carefully studying the views of Old Faithful Geyser, Upper Geyser Basin and Geyser Hill for inspiration on the building’s design. Some of the design also draws from the Adirondack Camp and the historic Old Faithful Inn.
The design of the visitor center was to pay close attention to detail. The battered stone at the base of the building is supposed to protect the walls from snow accumulation. The walls consist of double course cedar single siding complete with a diamond pattern accent, and are protected with roof overhangs that provide shelter from the elements as well as cozy seating areas for guests. The shingles and stainless steel roof panels are supposed to emulate nature’s expression of the geyser pools and mud pots on the roof.
Inside of the contemporary visitors center there are four exhibit areas with all the information on the parks and the geyser. The center even has a theater and a resources center, along with a gift shop of course!
Our world is full of amazing sites, whether it is architecturally or in nature. It’s important that we preserve what the Earth has to offer. The Old Faithful Visitors Center is doing their part to build carefully with attention to protecting the geysers around it. Birdmaster is proud to help protect the center and it’s architecture for years to come!