Merchants Millpond Visitor Center

Merchants Millpond Visitor Center, view from the south including porch.

The entrance is located strategically on the building's northwest fa§ade. A double-height glazed wall opposite the front door frames a view down to the pond. To the left of the entrance is a corrugated rainwater cistern, fed by a gutter system that channels roof runoff. The water collected is used primarily for site irrigation.

The sharply canting roof structure of the lobby is emphasized by the fact that the roof on either side of itover offices on one side and classrooms and exhibition space on the otherslopes at a shallower angle and in the opposite direction. The lobby's stout, post-and-beam structure lends a barnlike character to the space, and the vocabulary of natural materials is maintained in the outdoor classroom structure visible though the trees.

The classroom in the main building is outfitted with microscopes, video equipment, and lab tables for chemistry experiments and water testing. A Polygal awning over the windows helps to mitigate glare from the southwestern sun, and the interior continues the vocabulary of exposed wood structure and white walls found throughout the building.

The exhibition space features dioramas and display boards arranged on a wide-plank floor made from reclaimed heart pine. Light filters into the space through translucent Kalwall clerestory windows on the northwest wall.

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