Larson Nature Center

Larson Nature Center


Brookings, SD

Construction Cost


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The Larson Nature Center, nestled in the Brookings Dakota Nature Park, uses a heavy timber framing system and massive windows for a natural aesthetic that blends with the surrounding park, inside and out. The structure allows for year-round use with several amenities like a three-season room for small gatherings, a large exhibit space with a natural wood-burning fireplace, equipment rental storage, a large classroom, and restrooms. Through the use of organic materials, textures, and colors the project successfully emphasizes the calming effect of the natural environment and creates a central hub for the 160-acre park.

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Project Goal #1

Create a rustic and organic structure which compliments the park setting

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Project Goal #2

Create a central "hub" able to support activities at Dakota Nature Park

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Project Goal #3

Brownfield Redevelopment

Project Features

  • Double-sided natural wood-burning fireplace
  • Stained concrete floors
  • Geothermal mechanical system
  • Exposed heavy timber framing
  • Optimal solar orientation and daylighting
  • Water efficient landscaping
  • Sustainable storm water management
  • Brownfield Redevelopment - Dakota Nature Park is located on the site of a former landfill

Services Provided

  • Programming
  • Conceptual Design
  • Design Visualization Utilizing Building Information Modeling (BIM)
  • Design Development
  • Construction Documents
  • Construction Administration

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