AIA Award Winner badge. Large wooden building reflecting on a calm pond with blue sky background.

The Bio Building at The Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks Tupper Lake, NY

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bb1-jpgModern building with a curved roof covered in solar panels, set against a backdrop of trees and reflected in a pond.bb3-jpgbb4-jpg

The Wild Center/Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, opened in 2006 and is located on a 31-acre site in the Town of Tupper Lake, NY near the geographic center of the Adirondack Park. The Natural History Museum, also known as “The Wild Center,” is a celebration of the wildlife and community of the Adirondacks, featuring live exhibits such as otters in their own waterfall and trout that swim over visitors’ heads. The museum is highly interactive, encouraging visitors to truly experience the animals, plants, and ecology of the Adirondack region. The mission of the museum is to “ignite an enduring passion for the Adirondacks where people and nature can thrive together and set an example for the world.”

The Wild Center’s dedication to environmental education inspired them to choose Phinney Design Group, an architecture firm focused on sustainable design and environmentally sensitive construction techniques, to design their award-winning Bio Building. The Natural History Museum attained LEED Silver certification in 2008, becoming the first LEED-certified building in the Adirondack Park and the first LEED-certified museum in New York State. These sustainable strategies enable it to save between 20 and 30 percent on operating costs compared to a conventionally designed building.

*Phinney Design Group worked in collaboration with HOK Architects and The Offices of Charles P. Reay, the architect for the main museum, during the conceptual design phases of the Bio Building.

Building with solar panels on the roof reflected in a pond, surrounded by trees.