FERNBANK MUSEUM of NATURAL HISTORY WildWoods

Rarely does a company have an opportunity to build a once-in-a-lifetime project. For us, WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History is that unique project which encompassed ingenuity, creativity and imagination to tackle some of the complex and intricate design parameters.

The greatest challenge was to build two giant learning pods, designed like a tulip popular bud and a fern, amid the canopy of the mature woodland behind the museum. A highline trail and boardwalk connect to a lowland creek meadow, nearly 50 feet below. It was essential to build and connect the different components while minimizing intrusion on this important ecosystem. Because WildWoods provides pathways connecting the museum with Fernbank Forest, one of the largest old-growth urban Piedmont forests in the world, great attention was paid to maintaining the character of the woodlands. This consideration was essential to providing a supporting habitat for the forest.

Van Winkle partnered with Perkins+Will Architects and Sylvatica Studio to build this one-of-a-kind project which connects museum visitors with nature in the heart of the city. We are excited to make our mark on Atlanta for generations to come and hope you will take your family and enjoy this phenomenal project.

“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.” Henry David Thoreau

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