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Collaborations in Conservation

Helping organizations achieve long-term sustainability and improving the quality of life for building inhabitants and visitors is core to our mission at SMP Architects. One such organization is the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). DCNR is responsible for managing over 2 million acres of state forest and 121 state parks. SMP has worked with DCNR for over twenty years, helping them realize a range of facilities including offices, public restrooms, welcome centers and environmental education centers. For SMP, each DCNR project is an opportunity to build within a natural setting while sensitively respecting and responding to each unique program and ecosystem. Our designs for the Tiadaghton Resource Management Center, Ohiopyle Falls Visitor Center, and Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park are helping Pennsylvania advance its leadership in sustainable design.

Tiadaghton 1

The Tiadaghton Resource Management Center functions as both a visitor resource and an office building for the PA Bureau of Forestry. The dramatic hillside location allows the building to both sit within the landscape and soar above it creating expansive views of the surrounding mountains. Sustainable strategies include daylighting throughout and a large visible green roof.

ohiopyle from front left

The Ohiopyle Falls Visitor Center acts as a gateway to the Laurel Highlands region and a point of interpretation of the river’s role in the regional ecosystem. With awesome views to the adjacent falls, the building features an ecological wastewater treatment system that filters and recycles the building’s wastewater for reuse.

Bald Eagle lakeside with cisterns

The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park is a first of its kind for the PA state park system, offering guest comfort and amenities not offered in campgrounds or cabins. The design allows for spectacular lake views and is a popular bird watching destination. Sustainable strategies focus on stormwater collection via visible cisterns that store and reuse water for the inn’s laundry washing needs, greatly reducing potable water consumption.

Read more about these projects and how they are helping the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources lead the way for a more sustainable Pennsylvania in a recent USGBC+ magazine article here:

Construction Progress: The Shirley Quadrivium Center at The Hill School

Here at SMP, we often ask ourselves: “How do we reuse what we have, and build only what we need?” Our design for The Hill School’s Shirley Quadrivium Center is a local response to this ethical question. As construction nears its mid-point, here is a project update.

Lions Gate Recognized for Outstanding Design and Planning

SMP’s Lions Gate at Penn State Abington has been honored with the 2018 Montgomery Award from the Montgomery County Planning Commission. This prestigious annual program promotes awareness of outstanding design and innovative planning by recognizing the best in planning, design, and advocacy in Montgomery County. The project transformed an abandoned car dealership parking lot into a lushly landscaped extension of the Penn State Abington campus. The jury described the project as “a transformative redevelopment project awarded for innovative design, community investment, and sustainable practices.” The 400 bed LEED Gold residence hall combines the social and academic opportunities of a traditional dormitory with shared apartment style living units.