AIA Kansas City: The American Institute of Architects

2009 Merit Awards

Rockefeller Prairie Trailhead
  • Architect: University of Kansas Architecture Studio 409 (Gore)

  • Lawrence, Kansas

The University of Kansas Field Station and Ecological Reserve (KSR), located north of Lawrence, KS, serves as a unique place for university biological and ecological research. This privately-owned land acts as a valuable piece in the area as it contains one of Douglas County’s last native tallgrass prairies.

In an effort to make this nature preserve publicly accessible, KSR invited a studio of 3rd year architecture students to design and build the Rockefeller Prairie Trailhead, which will serve as an introduction to the site.

The project consists of a covered open deck, with benches, looking out to the landscape, and a shaded portion with maps and information about the reserve.

This was an intensive seven-week scope of work that included: site master planning, design, pre-fabrication and on-site construction. The lumber for the project came from recycled telephone poles.

Installation was accomplished in an eleven-day period, and completed in May 2009.