Oregon Zoo Education Center selected as a finalist for Biophilic Design Award


Opsis is excited to announce the Oregon Zoo Education Center is a finalist for the Stephen R. Kellert Biophilic Design award by the International Living Future Institute. The award recognizes buildings, interiors and communities that demonstrate the principles and benefits of biophilic design. Winners will be announced at the upcoming 2022 Living Future Institute Conference.

With more than 1.7 million visitors per year, the Oregon Zoo Education Center has a profound influence on community conversations about our impact on the natural world. The project’s goal was to connect those visiting the zoo to the natural world around them; nature that many pass, by but never engage with. Through collaborative workshops with more than 20 community partners (institutions, governments and non-profits), the theme of ‘Small Things Matter’ emerged to emphasize the role we all play in achieving sustainability and resilience–both in the smallest parts of our ecosystem and the smallest actions we as humans take every day.

The building hugs the central plaza, and learning landscapes exist throughout. Inspired by the unique spiral patterns prevalent in natural systems, two curved roofs welcome visitors to the plaza. The spiral shape is one of the unique forms of nature that beautifully describes growth- the basis of all life. Sustainable elements, including solar panels, native plants, bird-safe windows, and rain gardens, are designed to educate the public. The Center has earned LEED Platinum certification and an AIA COTE Top 10 award.

Check out Trim Tab to learn more about the Stephen R. Kellert Biophilic Design award and this year’s selected finalists.