Discovery Center at the Backcountry
By Shea Homes
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Nestled at the entry of a private enclave of over 400 wild acres, the Discovery Center begins your journey into the Backcountry. Conceived by Shea Homes, this new community of 1400 residences provides trails and open space throughout; while abutting an adjacent 8,200-acre BackCountry Wilderness Area.
The Discovery Center functions as the Sales and Marketing Center for the community, and is the integration of nature, spirit and history of place. The buildings’ shape evolved from the entry orientation towards Mt. Evans and the ‘spine’ directed towards Longs Peak. The use of natural elements: earth, fire, water and natural materials: stone and wood have been infused throughout the building. Stone piers create a sense of ancient ruins juxposed with planes of glass and wood, while emerging from the pond which is integral to the communities’ irrigation system. The exterior materials transcend into the interior with stone piers slicing thru the building and the meandering stone paths leading into the entry and either end of the Gallery, and continuing on into the wild.
Jen Nieman – Architect of Record | Modus Architecture; Designer and Project Architect | 4240 Architecture