Neuman Forest Environmental Learning Pavilions
Nested within a protected ponderosa pine forest in Troy, Idaho, the Neuman Forest Environmental Learning Pavilions act as a lens for direct engagement with this unique landscape.
Three Pavilions, serving a wide variety of educational and recreational users, are sited along a ridgeline defining the site’s primary axis. A desire for continual connectedness, combined with strict requirements of the conservation easement, led to a design made of permeable timber screen walls, focused openings, limited enclosure, and minimal footprint. Each zone of the Pavilions is specifically tuned to the needs and opportunities of its micro-context. Programmatic needs are paired with specific elements of the surrounding forest (understory, canopy, meadow, etc), This approach ensured the surrounding forest remained integral to the user experience.
Working in a conservation easement brought an acute awareness of material and resource efficiency to the project. Key circular construction strategies include alternative sourcing, optimization, re-use, and minimum-impact design.
We collaborated with numerous stakeholders that impacted the resulting project. These included the land owner, the Palouse Land Trust (who oversee the conservation easement on the site (200+ volunteer hours), educators from Troy schools, a Structural Engineer and Professor Emeritus of Renewable Materials 25+ volunteer hours, a two local lumber mills, city and county officials (coordinating variance to allow for composting toilet), material and financial donors, forestry conservation experts, multiple community organizations, and the composite materials lab at a neighboring university. Having so many partners imbued the educational experience with a richness of perspectives and expertise. This integrated approach transformed an initial desire for a simple shelter in this approach ensured the surrounding forest remained the woods, into a more meaningful resolution of community needs, ranging from conservation to education to recreation.
The project was a Core 77 2023 Student Winner - Built Environment Award winner.
Mal Sawm Tluang
* Teaching Assistant