Text description provided by the architects. The new Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center is sited between a sagebrush meadow and a riparian forest along the Snake River. Approaching through a grove of spruce, cottonwood and aspen trees, visitors are drawn into a courtyard that provides a calm and intimate place in the vast Wyoming landscape. The proportions of this outdoor space accommodate groups of people for gatherings and orientation. The roof tilts upward and away from the courtyard, its jagged edges celebrating the peaks of the Teton Range beyond.
Entering through a vestibule at the north end of the courtyard, visitors are drawn into the 'heart' of the building; a large gathering hall that accommodates many functions with the magnificent view of the Teton Range as a backdrop. A large concrete and stone fireplace acts as the focal point of the room. Additional program elements including a bookstore, art gallery and classroom are located adjacent to the gathering space.
The new Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center pays homage to the strong tradition of rustic architecture in the national parks while remaining fully modern in its design, execution and interpretive mission.
The architecture, landscape and interpretive elements of the new visitor center are carefully and sensitively integrated to provide a rich experience for the visitor.