Tamarac Interpretive Center
This award-winning Visitor/Interpretive Center for the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge in northern Minnesota is both an early and excellent example of energy efficiency, and a stunning structure that blends beautifully into its natural, heavily forested site. Appropriate to this woodland setting are red cedar siding, earth berms, and a low L-shaped profile punctuated by a steeply pitched roof which serves as a kind of beacon in the forest. Glass walls overlook the adjacent marsh. In addition to the berms, the energy-conscious design also uses solar panels, south-facing windows, and an ingenious system for purging summer heat naturally using a rock storage area at the base of the roof.