ClientPA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Project Area18,400 square feet
The Nature Inn was designed to connect guests with the outdoors and convey a message of conservation and stewardship in its design, construction, and operation.
The project is the first of its kind within the Pennsylvania state park system and offers a unique option for overnight stays within the boundary of the park. With a spectacular view of the water and the eagles nesting across the lake, the Nature Inn provides opportunities for visitors who wish to experience the park, but desire amenities not offered by traditional campgrounds and cabins. One key environmentally responsible strategy implemented at the Nature Inn is rainwater harvesting. Though stormwater management may not be quite as critical here as it might be in a more urban site, the rainwater collected is used for the laundry needs of the inn, greatly reducing potable water use in the building.
A Mission of Conservation
The Nature Inn was designed to demonstrate responsible design and construction in a natural environment. Sited in a previously disturbed area of the park, the building maximizes views of the surroundings. Native plant species that require no irrigation have been reintroduced in the restored landscape. Rain gardens receive runoff from adjacent paved surfaces and improve surface water quality.
The Inn features local stone, Pennsylvania-harvested certified wood, and locally crafted furniture. Water conservation meatures include low flow plumbing fixtures, dual-flush toilets, and a visible 2,400 gallon rainwater harvesting system. The site design and rainwater harvesting contribute to the project’s goal of achieiving zero stormwater runoff.
The design of the Inn encourages interaction and community among the guests and teaches about environmental responsibility.
Consisting of 16 fully accessible rooms, the Inn incorporates a variety of guest room layouts, each with a private bathroom and direct access to the outside. Common spaces include a generous social room and a library overlooking the lobby. Wrap-around porches connect visitors to an outdoor eating area, bird watching areas, and trails leading through the park.
Energy conservation was a key consideration in the design of all building systems, and the project includes a ground coupled heating and cooling system and solar hot water heating. To encourage awareness of energy use, each guest room has a digital display that indicates the current room energy use.