WoodWorks 2021 Wood Design Award: Discovery Center in Fairmount Park


2021 WDA Winner Spotlight: Institutional Wood Design – The Discovery Center in Philadelphia, PA
This is a fantastic space and we are honored to have collaborated on the project in a structural capacity.
Congratulations to all Teams Involved and all the other national award winners!


Structural engineer: CVM
Contractor: INTECH Construction, Inc.
Building type: Civic/recreational
Building system: Light-frame

Project description: “A simple light wood-frame design provided an economic building solution for this urban bird sanctuary and leadership development center. Simple form and use of wood allow The Discovery Center to fade into its natural environment. Two wings of the building, each with platform-framed walls and prefabricated roof trusses, are joined by a connecting roof. The east wing includes exhibition space, meeting rooms, administrative space, and a storage area, while the west wing includes a large multi-functional event space for meetings, workshops, and gatherings. Plated wood roof trusses have been left exposed in all primary interior spaces, providing visual warmth and maximizing volume. The building is flanked by a nearly 500-foot-long charred cedar façade and site wall that incorporates bird ‘nesting shelves.’ The light-colored, cedar-clad entry portal welcomes visitors while the dark charred cedar creates a neutral backdrop to the seasonal colors of the landscape. In keeping with the Center’s community focus, exterior wall panels were flame charred, shop fabricated, and installed by a non-profit construction training program that introduces urban youth to the carpentry trades.”

Discovery Center


For more information: Visit The Architects Newspaper: 2021 U.S Wood Design Awards