Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at Grand Teton National Park

Moose, Wyoming

Welcoming four million visitors a year, the Center provides an orientation to Grand Teton National Park's natural wonders. With an emphasis on education, it conveys the urgent need for land stewardship

Inspired by the geologic processes that formed the Teton range, a landscape of uplifted graphic surfaces, dioramas, and plinths rises out of recessed areas in the floor slab. Seven mountain-peak identifiers radiate out to features in the landscape, and video rivers come alive with slow-moving media.

A laser-based topographic map, an introductory theater, a thirty-foot climbing-wall tribute to Teton mountaineering, and original illustrations and diagrams explain the park’s natural and cultural history. A daily bulletin incorporating a live digital satellite weather map, daily updatable graphics on wildlife, temperature, and wind speed, and a back-country planning area make the center a model for future National Park Service facilities.

 “The Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center emphasizes the interconnectedness of humans and nature—in our shared past, in our present enjoyment of this natural resource, and in our duty to be responsible stewards of this magnificent ecosystem,” according to the Park Foundation’s website. An exhibit at the close of the experience—the Pledge to Preserve—asks visitors to seal their commitment to preserving the land by signing their names in a book.

Year:
2007
Client:
Craig Thomas Discovery Center
Architect:

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Size:

20,000 square feet

Awards:
  • Industrial Designers Society of America, Industrial Design Excellence Award, Finalist, Museum Exhibits and Set Design

© 2014, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Inc.