Location: Eureka, Missouri
Studio Critic: Heather Woofter
Tree Bark is a nature-inspired laboratory building for the Tyson Research Center, a Washington University in St. Louis owned ecological reserve located in Eureka, Missouri. By studying the natural systems related to the site (climate, site, etc.), a strategy was developed to create the structure of the project. The concept of the laboratory incorporates a close integration between the existing landscape and built form, using a system similar to that of tree bark. By imbedding the structure within the ground, the building is able to maintain a consistent interior climate, which is favorable to areas such as the midwest, since the region experiences both hot and cold weather extremes throughout the year. Because the project is imbedded within the landscape, light was an important issue, and careful consideration was taken in order to determine where openings in the building should be located and how light could be reflected and redirected most efficiently within the building. The building then begins to open up and peel away like tree bark in order to accommodate for various climatic conditions.