The Raptor Education Foundation (REF) in Brighton, Colorado has been “promoting environmental literacy since 1980.” David P Goode Architecture has been honored to work with the REF as they begin to realize the dream of “Eagle World”, an education, observation, and visitor facility on 10-acres in Brighton. Our relationship began in 2008 when the REF came to Prairie Center, and we were thrilled when asked in 2016 to prepare a conceptual design to further define Eagle World.
In 2015, the Brighton Lodging Tax Advisory Committee awarded the REF a grant to initiate a feasibilty study for the 10-acre parcel in what is now referred to as the Prairie Center Wildlife Sanctuary. In order to gain a more complete picture of the financial commitment required for the facility, DPGA prepared a program, conceptual design, and preliminary construction budgets.
This process took several months to complete as we analyzed each part of the facility: what do the birds need and how they can thrive, how can we present the birds for the public to see, promote education, what about rehabilitation, day to day operations, etc., what might we or the raptors need in the future, how can we build this in phases? We went so far as to determine what it would take to provide new water (which needs redundancy) and sewer service to the property from nearly 1/2-mile away. The details of the enclosures, called a mews, were designed using the nearly 40-years experience of the REF staff.
Ultimately, the entire 10-acre project was priced conceptually by a contractor in order to generate some fundraising goals based on reality. To aide in that fundraising and to generate more excitement to REF members, DPGA generated several renderings…
At the entry to Eagle World, visitors will pass through the Administration building with its winged roof form. The structure will house not only the administrative offices, but also a clinic/hospital, gift shop, reception area, and multi-purpose rooms.
Inside the facility, the mews will be arranged around the site so visitors can wander to each enclosure much like a zoo. There will be rest areas as well as educational displays so visitors can learn how the raptors are impacted by the environment.
An amphitheater is also proposed, which will provide flight presentations and educations to visitors. This structure is located on the site to also be available to the general public (for rent) for other events. The tent shade element reflects the forms of nearby Denver International Airport and is reminiscent of swooping curves of birds in flight.
The result of the design, studies, and budgeting is a 45-page report to be included with a marketing and financial analysis and presented back to the Lodging Tax Committee. It is hoped that additional grant money will be awarded to help accelerate the project towards reality.
The REF does amazing work with these majestic animals. This project, even in its infancy, has been very exciting. While DPGA specializes in retail and restaurant work, the REF study project reminds us that we can expand beyond our specialty and excel in the work we do.
We can hardly wait for the next phases of design for Eagle World.