Environmental Education Center and Great Hall
This center will become a major regional destination that
includes areas (inside and out) for:
* Research, education and conference spaces.
* Canoe / Kayak access / rentals and concessions.
* Various Day-use areas.
Envisioned to address perhaps the most prominent issue in the heritage of land conservation and use practices, the balance of sustainable, environmental
and economic planning, the Environmental Education Center at Hudson Crossing will be both an incubator for the growing study and practice of
environmentally sensitive logy, and a necessary catalyst to help jump-start a community toward economic redevelopment. The Center's mission is this:
Upon entering the building we first step foot in the Lobby, which
serves as the Visitor Center for Hudson Crossing Park. Here we can
learn about the park, the history, wildlife, and ecology of the upper
Hudson River, and other local attractions within the region.
The park trail system will also converge directly into the lobby area
so this can serve as our point of departure for the day's excursion.
Interactive displays and local artwork will adorn the space,
everything we need to know will be here. Adjacent to this space will
be administrative and support areas, public restrooms, and a small
'Cafe' for drinks and snacks. From here we can also access the
other main components of the center.
Our next stop is to the Education Wing. Programs are given
here in several small expandable 20 to 30 person classrooms
that open onto the terraces and garden spaces of the center, so
the class can move indoors and outdoors as needed for the
particular program. Classes, seminars, and workshops of all
types are targeted for K-12, adults, senior, families, and
community groups. (The highlight of this area will be the
River Room. This room will take you down below the water
level and into the Hudson River. Once inside, and looking
out through the glass wall viewers can see and learn from
the river as it flows right in front of them. This space could
provide valuable insight into the natural process of the
river, a chance to see a day, a month. a season, or a year
pass in the life of the river.)
Next we come to the Research Incubator. Here we are setting the
stage for the future, this will make this facility stand out from other
environmental centers in that here we will offer the opportunity for
the research and development of topics involving the environment,
and our local ecology. The vision is that researchers will come to
use the center as a base site for research projects.
The Centers proximity to the Hudson River, Adirondack
Mountains, Lake George, Lake Champlain and many other
natural areas of interest will allow a broad range of opportunities
for research topics. Initially the spaces to will be very flexible and
adaptable to meet the needs of individual research projects, and
will include a group of small office spaces similar to incubator
business offices, a small research lab, and storage areas. This
section of the Center is perhaps the most challenging in that
depending on the interest it may grow over time.
Our last stop inside the Center brings us to the Great Hall.
This large space will bring in much of the revenue that will
help to financially sustain the Center. In here, banquets,
conferences, weddings, and many other functions will take
place. Supported by a small catering kitchen, plenty of
storage, audio-visual equipment, and breakout spaces, the
Great Hall will be large enough to support functions up to 200
people. Flooded with natural light, high dramatic ceilings,
views over the Hudson River, and walls opening on terraces
and gardens, this space will be a destination in and of itself.
This space will help meet a current need for more
conferencing space in the Saratoga area, and at the same time
bring much needed exposure and secondary business to the
Schematically programmed around 15,000 square feet and imagined sitting on the banks of the Hudson River within the Hudson Crossing Park
boundaries; the facility will serve as a destination attraction for the community, helping to tie together Hudson Crossing, the Route 4 Scenic byway and
the broader Schuyler Park network. The building will be designed using natural materials, and proportionate massing with the existing natural elements
using a vernacular that is neither, modem or historic, but harmonious with the land it rests upon and the greater environmental context of the region.
Through the use of renewable resource energy practices, natural lighting, and natural ventilation, the Center will provide all its own energy. Additionally,
gray water technologies will be used to minimize water usage and waste water production.
Four main components will make up the Center's program, the Visitor Center for Hudson Crossing, the Education Wing, the Research Incubator, and
the Great Hall. These spaces along with outdoor gardens, a small amphitheatre, and an extensive trail system within the park will make this center a
valuable resource for the local community and the greater Capitol District. A brief description of these areas follows.
'To promote the sensitivity of our connection with nature, to ensure that future generations as well as present learn that the
environment is not ours to be used, but an integral sustaining force in our every day lives'
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