Location: Chambers County, TX
Michael Baker provided architecture and engineering design services for the Texas Chenier Plain Headquarters and Visitor Center, an administrative office, and interpretive learning center for the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge.
The 9,171-square-foot headquarters offices serve the U.S. Fish and Wildlife staff on site. The 5,212-square-foot visitor center is connected to the administration side of the building via an open 1,787-square-foot breezeway. The visitor center side of the building is open to the public with interactive exhibits, an object theater, an environmental education classroom, and a bookstore. Outdoor trails lead from the classroom to an outdoor learning pond and boardwalk that extends from the pond through the cypress tree canopy to the shore of Lake Anahuac. Interpretive wildlife stations and lookout points are located along the boardwalk as well as additional trails originating at the visitor center.
The entire facility was designed to withstand a hurricane event occurring on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Sustainable design and the LEED® process were used throughout the design and construction of the facility to earn a LEED® Gold rating. The entire facility provides a unity of color, materials, and massing that is compatible with the site and is functional, sustainable, and easily maintained and provides a pleasing environment for visitors and employees alike.