Hagerman, ID

Thousand Springs Visitor Center

Patano Studio’s design for the Thousand Springs Visitor Center in Hagerman, ID is inspired by the landscape and evokes the natural and cultural history of the region of the Snake River Valley. The building is simple in form, yet rich in spatial experience and is defined by two primary walls that create the identity of the building. 

Cedar siding will be allowed to weather naturally in the arid climate, connecting the building to the landscape and to the passage of time. Weathered steel canopies and window shrouds protect the windows from direct sunlight while affording views from the interior to the features. Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPS) will be installed for all exterior walls and the entire roof. SIPS panels are prefabricated off-site, trucked to the site and assembled as a kit-of-parts, greatly reducing construction time for the building envelope and costs for labor. Additionally, the SIPS building provides a superior thermal envelope greatly reducing the energy needs of the building. LED lights, heat pumps supplying the heating and cooling system and carefully shaded exterior glazing will keep operating costs low. All exterior windows will have patterns applied to the glazing to provide Bird Friendly design in order to protect the local bird populations and reduce impacts.

The Visitor Center program is efficiently organized by a central lobby area with offices to the west side, the interpretive volume to the east side and the entry and restrooms to the north.  Anchored by a ‘rock’ that houses support spaces – the entry is positioned between the two forms aiming a view toward the Hagerman Fossil Beds across the valley.