George Washington Carver National Monument

Diamond, Missouri

The challenge of this project was to design an addition that would increase the size of the facility five-fold without destroying the modest scale and character of the original Mission 66 visitor center. Modifications to the existing building took care to keep important features, including the fir ceilings and views of the tall grass prairie from the loggia.

The design balances the needs of walk-in visitors and the needs of busloads of school children who come to learn about George Washington Carver’s life, achievements, and philosophies.

The 20,837 sf facility includes a FEMA storm shelter, a multi-purpose/lunch room for 200, a research library, a laboratory with adjacent greenhouse, a replicated one-room schoolhouse, and new utilities. We also completed master planning for future demonstration gardens.

Sustainable features include a ground source heat pump system for both cooling and heating, on-site storm water retention and leach field into native prairie grasses, and skylighted greenhouse and terrarium.