Last week, The William J. Maeck Education Center was recognized as one of Idaho’s top 3 public works projects of the year.
This project replaced the education center at the Idaho Falls Zoo with a new 4,400-square-foot center equipped with three classrooms, office space, bathrooms and a kitchenette. It was designed to tie in with the adjacent buildings within the Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park while using materials that tie into its natural surroundings.
The main entry wall of the facility is constructed of dark cultured stone, and the entrance canopies are constructed with large wood timbers that blend with the region’s forested mountains and the adjacent historic log cabins. The building’s large entrance stone walls are faced with backlit Zoo logos, and large aluminum entrance storefront doors and windows on the exterior of the facility allow natural light to shine into the building. The interior colors and finishes were also selected carefully.
The goal of the design was to bring the outside natural beauty in and carry it throughout the space. With classes and courses for visitors of all ages, as well as summer camps and other events for children, the zoo’s ambition of the William J. Maeck Education Center is to be the main hub for conservation education in eastern Idaho.