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Efroymson Conservation Center

The Efroymson Conservation Center is one of the best new buildings in Indianapolis.  It has several innovative features that make it a great fit for The Nature Conservancy. I encourage everyone to go explore it and see what it can teach us about conservation in the urban age.

The center serves as the main office and gathering space for conservation efforts in Indiana

It’s hard to explain why this building is so important, but it all comes down to holistic design.  Every piece works towards the greater goal, establishing a synergy that few projects have realized.  If sustainability is the key metric of contemporary architecture then this project is a landmark worthy of its accolades.

The building has an F.A.R. of about 0.5, which is lower than the nearby Maxwell Commons and lower than a typical downtown project.  But the stats don’t tell the whole story.  This project is just as much about the outdoors as the indoors.  1/3 of the one acre site is native landscaping, combining a bioswale and representative ecologies of Indiana.  The land serves other purposes as well, collecting stormwater and containing a Geothermal system.  So, when one considers that the project designers used every bit of square footage to further TNC’s mission, it is clear that this building is a success.  (see this brochure for a summary of the design)

Just like the Cultural Trail, this is one project that people around the country recognize as important and worth attention.  Here are some photographs of the Efroymson Center in case anyone has not had a chance to visit yet.

4 Responses to “ “Efroymson Conservation Center”

  1. Curt Ailes says:

    What is F.A.R.? (or at least a little background on why its important for those of us who don’t know the whole story)

    That said, I agree totally. I feel like this building is more of a statement than an example of proper urban form. It shows what CAN be done, and what should be done more often with new buildings.

  2. Tadd Miller says:

    I am very happy to have this in the neighborhood, and think it is great the sustainability that they have put into the project, however, its really dissappointing that they didn’t put a significant amount of additional density onto that site! We could have done the building they did, put 50+ apartments on top and still accomplished all the sustainability elements they accomplished, and made it even more of a statement….in fact, we were negotiating with the seller of the land to do just that (without know the conservation center was looking at it) when they bought the site, too bad we couldn’t figure out how to put both uses on there.

    It is much better than what was there though!

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