The Efroymson Conservation Center is one of the best new buildings in Indianapolis. It has several innovative features that make it a great fit for The Nature Conservancy. I encourage everyone to go explore it and see what it can teach us about conservation in the urban age.
It’s hard to explain why this building is so important, but it all comes down to holistic design. Every piece works towards the greater goal, establishing a synergy that few projects have realized. If sustainability is the key metric of contemporary architecture then this project is a landmark worthy of its accolades.
The building has an F.A.R. of about 0.5, which is lower than the nearby Maxwell Commons and lower than a typical downtown project. But the stats don’t tell the whole story. This project is just as much about the outdoors as the indoors. 1/3 of the one acre site is native landscaping, combining a bioswale and representative ecologies of Indiana. The land serves other purposes as well, collecting stormwater and containing a Geothermal system. So, when one considers that the project designers used every bit of square footage to further TNC’s mission, it is clear that this building is a success. (see this brochure for a summary of the design)
Just like the Cultural Trail, this is one project that people around the country recognize as important and worth attention. Here are some photographs of the Efroymson Center in case anyone has not had a chance to visit yet.