Turtle Bay Visitor Center and Museum

Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Redding, California

Turtle Bay Exploration Park is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to education and interpretation of the environmental, historical and cultural components of the Sacramento River watershed. The 8000 square foot Turtle Bay Visitor Center marks the south entry of a 300-acre site in Redding, California. The careful siting of the building between the parking area and an existing boardwalk allows the building to serve as a gateway to the park. From the interior, the largely transparent pavilion allows expansive views to a natural wetland and riparian forest beyond. Currently under construction is the 39,000 square foot Turtle Bay Museum, to be located at the northern end of the boardwalk across from the Visitor Center. It will contain galleries, exhibits, classrooms, offices and a cafe. Though the Visitor Center's main function is ticketing, many additional guest amenities are provided. These include introductory exhibits, a multimedia viewing room, gift shop and a science classroom that provides space for children's classes as well as continuing education for members of the community. The Visitor Center employed a number of sustainable building strategies including a straw bale wall that wraps around the classroom wing. Deep overhangs shade the interior spaces from the intense summer sun and extensive use of glazing helps reduce dependence on artificial lighting. Through its deliberate site strategy, program composition and articulation of materials, the Turtle Bay Visitor Center provides a rich experience for the visitor and a dynamic gateway to the entire park.


2001 Award of Merit
AIA Northwest and Pacific Region
2000 Award of Commendation for Design
AIA Seattle
Tweet about this project. Recommend this on Facebook.