Advancing the Education of Young Architecture Graduates through Foreign Travel-Study
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Bolsa Chica Tidal Exploration Center

by Paul Wolfe — Finalist

Tidal Exploration CenterExperienceModular MovementConstruct

Interaction with the tidal zone at a bird’s eye view can be stunning - but to truly understand one must venture to the level of the sea and view up close the nature of the tides. The Bolsa Chica Tidal Exploration Center is a gateway to an understanding of the tidal zone of coastal California. The center is designed to bring the visitor in close contact with the wetland ecology without disruption to that ecology's natural function. From the modular and island-like design of the buildings, to the large decks, to the unique tidal experience zone - the whole center models and builds upon the tidal ecological model. Pre-fabricated construction and low-impact materials are used to minimize overall building impact. The building also takes advantage of the moderate climate with large overhead doors to open spaces to the outside and a rainwater/heat pump hybrid system which uses the natural deltaT of the environment to help heat and cool the building when necessary. The Bolsa Chica Tidal Exploration Center simply fits in with the tidal ecosystem.

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