Project name: Coastal Education Center
Project narrative: The Coastal Education Center fosters climate literacy and encourages its visitors to establish connections with Massachusetts coastline. Set between dunes and a tidal marsh, the CEC demonstrates that architecture can have a positive impact on its environment, through siting, adaptability, and a zero-carbon footprint. Using future-phasing, the CEC’s ground floor program moves to the main level when rising sea levels render it within the flood plain; the ground floor then becomes a living lab, investigating water infiltration and sea level rise in real time. Emphasizing resiliency ensures the longevity of the CEC as a community resource for decades to come.
Project location: North Shore, Massachusetts
Firm name: designLAB architects
Project type: Education and Visitor Center
Project information: New construction
Jury comments: The need for architecture capable of adapting to our rapidly changing climate is pressing. This education center stands out in its ability to not only withstand sea level rise, but also educate visitors on the ebb and flow of the surrounding tide and dunes. Can the architecture achieve the goals? Certainly the architecture will serve as a lens to better see the unavoidable environmental changes that often elude our attention.
Consultants: MEP & LEED: Buro Happold; Landscape: Weston & Sampson
Images/Photographer(s): designLAB architects