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Ordway Prairie Pavilion

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The Nature Conservancy


In Process




Glenwood, MN


600 SF







Ecological Preservation
Eco-conscious Stormwater Management
Environmental Stewardship

Located on the Ordway Prairie in Central Minnesota, the Ordway Prairie Pavilion stands as a testament to The Nature Conservancy's commitment to education and ecological preservation. Commissioned to create a gathering space, this 600-square-foot pavilion is not just a structure; it's a bridge between knowledge and nature.

Designed as an educational haven, the pavilion beckons school groups, hikers, and picnickers to delve into the intricacies of the glacial terrain and the remarkably preserved ecosystem of the Ordway Prairie. Here, visitors become explorers, unraveling the mysteries of the land in an immersive and socially enriching environment.

The pavilion's crowning glory is its folded roof plane—a graceful wing that hovers over the prairie like a guardian of knowledge. This architectural marvel not only provides shelter but also mirrors the hummocky geology of the region. Each fold tells a story, connecting the built environment with the undulating landscape that inspired it.

Crafted with a Cor-Ten steel skeleton, the pavilion seamlessly integrates with its surroundings. The choice of material ensures a natural patina over time, allowing the structure to evolve in harmony with the prairie. As the Cor-Ten steel weathers, it becomes a living canvas, blending and aging gracefully in sync with the landscape.

Beyond its architectural finesse, the pavilion is a lesson in water stewardship. Collected from the roof, water becomes a silent educator. Guided by a commitment to sustainability, the runoff is directed to a nearby gabion cage filled with locally harvested fieldstone. Here, water undergoes a transformative journey, aiding in infiltration back into the soil while preventing excess erosion.

Ordway Prairie Pavilion transcends its physical existence; it's a symphony where social interactions harmonize with environmental stewardship. It's a place where knowledge blossoms, and the spirit of exploration thrives. Visitors don't just witness nature; they become part of its ongoing narrative, fostering a deep sense of connection and responsibility.

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