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Bird Blind
The Audubon Center is located within the 3,700-acre Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary at the heart of the Mississippi Flyway along the banks of the Mississippi River near its confluence with the Missouri River. Over 300 bird species find food, shelter, and safe passage on the Mississippi Flyway, one of the most extraordinary migration corridors on the planet. The mission of The Audubon Center at Riverlands is to connect people to the beauty and significance of the Mississippi River and the Great Rivers confluence, to inspire the conservation of the river’s rich diversity in birds, wildlife, and other natural resources, and to support healthy, vibrant communities.

The Audubon Center’s need to provide a durable and resilient bird-watching structure weighed on the material selection for the project. The client required a maintenance-free structure that could withstand harsh climatic conditions, including flooding events that regularly occur at the site. Concrete is suitable to address these requirements and offers a robust alternative to other materials. The spiraling design of a single 120’ long wall provides an accessible promenade gradually sloped up, ending on a platform with a seating area elevated above the parking level. People can observe the wildlife at Heron Pond from anywhere along the continuous peripheral enclosure.


The project was partially funded by the Provost’s Office Covid Faculty Support Initiative, the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts and the Audubon Center at Riverlands

Research Assistants: Sean Shen, Deying Chen, David Yi, Marcus Morehead, and Cindy Wang

On-site collaborators: Greg Cuddihee, Alex Davis, Jessica Arnold, Wenting Yu

Administration: Chad Henry

Audubon Center at Riverlands: Ken Buchholz

US Army Corps of Engineers: Tyler Goble

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