Water Power

The centerpiece of the 316-acre USNWC complex is the River Center (seen from the northeast), built of concrete, cedar, and steel in a contemporary style that eschews rustic clichés. Of the concrete ellipse that forms the main entry, architect Michael Williams says, "We wanted a strong iconic element that played off of rocks we saw in all of the rivers we visited."

Views inside the two-story, 40,000-square-foot River Center: an overlook jutting from the upper (entry) level.

Stairs down to the channel level, canopied by perforated steel and accented with rocks on the landings.

The pro shop selling rafting and kayaking gear.

The Eddy Restaurant & Bar.

Conceived of as a chasm between buildings, the sheltered stairway is the park's main thoroughfare.

Dividing the entry area from the pro shop and leading down to the channel level.

A section shows the relationship of the entry and channel levels to each other and to the slalom channel, which lies another 15 feet below. On the entry level are meeting rooms and offices . Locker rooms and the restaurant are located on the channel level (bottom floor plan).

A conveyor whisks kayaks and rafts from the lower pond to the upper pond.

Between the River Center and the pump house are the climbing center and pavilions where paddlers congregate before trips.

These structures' angled roofs of metal and cedar allude to the River Center's stair canopy.

About 300 feet from the River Center sits the pump house, containing seven pumps that circulate more than 12 million gallons of water through the park. 1. River Center 2. Climbing Center 3. Pavilions 4. Rafting Storage 5. Pump House/Conveyor 6. Day Camp 7. Kayak Storage 8. Raft Storage 9. Maintenance 10. Upper Pond 11. Lower Pond 12. Slalom Channel 13. Freestyle Channel 14. Wilderness Channel 15. Big-Water Channel 16. Filtration System

Although the USNWC is home to the U.S. canoe/kayak Olympic team, the park stays afloat financially mainly by hosting rafters, who pay $33 each for a 90-minute outing.

CHANNEL PLAN 1. "Scobstacles": a Scott Shipley design feature to restrict flow 2. Omniflot pegboard system: movable fiberglass obstacles 3. Natural rock obstacles 4. Head gates, to stop or adjust the flow into the channels

One kayaker tests the omniflot obstaclesin the slalom channel.

Another negotiates slalom gates on a practice run.

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