Dallas, Texas


The Trinity River crosses through an area described by naturalists as the biological “cross-roads of North America” at the meeting point between the Blackland Prairie and Cross Timbers regions in southwestern Dallas. The Great Trinity Forrest has grown up along the river in south Dallas and represents the largest urban forest in the United States. Unfortunately the forest and river had become neglected with large areas being used as illegal dump sites. This project began with a extensive master plan for the entire Trinity River corridor. Potential Sites were identified for several projects, a massive restoration project was planned which included the cleanup of the illegal dump sites, flood mitigation work was coordinated with the army corps of engineers and a site was selected for the Audubon Center. Programming for the Audubon Center included extensive study of comparable facilities including a six-city tour with design team and client representatives.

The selected site has a tangible connection to Trinity River while providing a secluded counter-point to urban Dallas. Visitors approach the new center on an entry boardwalk weaving though reconstituted prairie, wetlands and slivers of forest. The building’s program focuses on environmental education giving an introduction to the riparian habitats along the trinity and the species who make it their home. Oblique views to reconstituted wetlands are framed as the boardwalk tracks along the suspended educational “Treehouse” wing of the center. Upon entering the building visitors continue their journey to the weathering steel clad exhibit wing with it’s apertures providing views from the exhibits to focal landscape events. Recycled and sustainable materials are used throughout the building. The building also serves as a trailhead for an extensive network of hiking, biking, and nature trails extending through the Trinity forest and along the Trinity River.












Trinity River