Preston Outdoor Education Station, Elmdale, Kansas

Preston Outdoor Education Station Elmdale, Kansas YMCA Camp Wood Building, US Architecture Design Images

Preston Outdoor Education Station, Elmdale

Contemporary Architecture in Tallgrass Prairie, KS, USA – design by KSU Design+Make Studio, Architects

Aug 23, 2017

Preston Outdoor Education Station in Tallgrass Prairie, Kansas

Design: KSU Design+Make Studio

Location: Tallgrass Prairie, Kansas, United States of America

Preston Outdoor Education Station, Elmdale, Kansas

Preston Outdoor Education Station is part of YMCA’s Camp Wood, located west of Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, in the heart of the Tallgrass Prairie.

Stretching from southern Nebraska to central Oklahoma in a fifty-mile wide vertical band, this landscape represents 4% of the original Tallgrass Prairie and is considered one of the most endangered ecosystems in North America.

Preston Outdoor Education Station, Elmdale, Kansas

Camp Wood celebrated its Centennial anniversary in 2016, cementing its legacy of high quality outdoor education for youth throughout Kansas.

The graduate level Design+Make Studio at Kansas State University was asked to develop an infrastructural backdrop to assist counselors in their work of connecting young people to this beautiful, yet subtle landscape.

Preston Outdoor Education Station, Elmdale, Kansas

The two requirements for the project were: 1) the project must survive the annual prairie burns and 2) the work must disappear into the landscape.

The fall semester was spent understanding the complexities of the client and opportunities of the site, responding iteratively with a range of design ideas.

Students also engaged in a methodical process acquiring the skills necessary to execute the project, learning welding, carpentry and traditional limestone masonry.

Preston Outdoor Education Station, Elmdale, Kansas

The studio used the spring to assemble drawings, prototypes, pricing and to execute the project itself.

What began as a simple shade structure evolved into a flexible, programmable experiential backdrop, 1,300 linear feet of trail system integrated into the site with five education stations along the way designed to connect visitors to the immediate landscape.

Preston Outdoor Education Station, Elmdale, Kansas

The pathway begins with a 300-linear foot dry stacked limestone wall.

Each station engages the environment and locally-sourced materials to focus on essential elements of the prairie – insects, wind, stone, grass, and sky.

Managing an all-inclusive budget of $150,000, including professional consulting and subcontracted work, the project was completed in August 2016.

Preston Outdoor Education Station, Elmdale, Kansas

Preston Outdoor Education Station, Tallgrass Prairie – Building Information

Location: Elmdale, Kansas
Date built: 2016
Architects: KSU Design+Make Studio
Client: YMCA Camp Wood
General Contractor: KSU Design+Make Studio
Photographer: Mike Sinclair

Preston Outdoor Education Station, Elmdale, Kansas, shortlisted for American Architecture Awards

Website: Preston Outdoor Education Station – Design+Make


To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.




US Architecture

American Architecture Designs – chronological list

Kansas Buildings – Selection:

DeBruce Center at the University of Kansas – Jun 10, 2017
Design: Gould Evans
DeBruce Center at the University of Kansas Building | www.e-architect.co.uk
photo courtesy of architects

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Building
Design: Steven Holl Architects
Nelson Atkins Museum Building
image : Andy Ryan

Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
Design: Kyu Sung Woo Architects
Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art Building
image © Timothy Hursley

Sustainable Residence Kansas City
Design: Studio 804
Kansas City Sustainable Residence
photo : courtesy of Studio 804

University Buildings




Kansas City Architecture

Kansas City Architects

AIA Kansas City Architecture Event, Legible Cities

Kansas City Design Week

American Architecture

American Architects

New Home Designs

Comments / photos for the Preston Outdoor Education Station, Elmdale, Kansas Architecture page welcome

Preston Outdoor Education Station, Elmdale, Kansas

Website: Elmdale, Kansas