Kaw Valley Overlook

stdudents standing on deck overlooking landscape
Situated on the edge of the Rockefeller Prairie north of Lawrence, the overlook serves a public outreach function, inviting the public to enjoy the view over the Kaw River valley, and appreciate the work of KU and visting scientists as they research plant and animal populations on the prairie. The overlook was conceived as a prefabricated structure, built of galvanized steel and wood in the School of Architecture, Design and Planning’s west campus warehouse, then carefully transported to the prairie for a low-impact installation. It consists of a deck and a large bench that derive inspiration from the waving prairie grasses and that have aesthetic connections to biomorphic forms like animal vertebrae.

This project was commissioned by the University of Kansas Field Station and Ecological Reserves (KSR), a division of the Kansas Biological Survey. Dick and Sue Himes provided funding for the project through the KU Endowment Association. Westar Energy’s Green Team donated lumber sawn from recycled power poles for the deck, bench and handrail cap.

Melissa Allen, Ashley Banks, Stacy Behlmann, Tyler Cini, Katie Crowley, Anna Davies, Adam Freund, Adam Herberg, Chris Hinton, Grace Lennon, Laura Meinig, Dan Nixon, Kate Penning, Dan Schaeffler, Inga Schuchard, Ben Tillman, Beth Valdivia
Year: 2009
Location: Douglas County, Kansas
Course: Arch 509 Designbuild Studio
Instructor: Nils Gore