National Model for Inter-Agency Partnership

National Elk Refuge Multi-Partner Visitor Center

Jackson, WY

Connecting Partners, People and Place

The Visitor Center acts as a portal to the refuge, navigating between the edge of the town of Jackson and the uninterrupted landscape of the elk refuge beyond. A solid south wing “bank” to the building forms a cohesive urban edge which visitors pass through to the transparent and porous north side. A large gathering roof frames programmatic “vessels” that house specific exhibitions and gathering spaces, symbolizing the multi-partner aspect of the Center. The building form tips up and out towards the Refuge, creating wildlife viewing opportunities at different vantages, while a series of loop trails and site vessels through restored habitat allow a ground-level experiences of the ecosystem for visitors.

Sustaining Common Goals

The center is a unique national model of inter-agency collaboration between six partner agencies that unites staffing, programs and organizational visions into a collective whole. Sustainable strategies throughout the building and landscape illustrate the stewardship ethic of the partner agencies and create educational opportunities for visitors.

Fostering Ecological Connections

At the spiritual heart of this place is the 107-year-old National Elk Refuge and the thousands of elk that inhabit the refuge seasonally. The conceptual design embraces this context through immersive exhibits and programs empowering future visitors as stewards of the refuge and the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem beyond.

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