The Los Alamos Nature Center opens April 22 and hosts PEEC’s annual Earth Day Festival April 25. /New Mexico Magazine
Editor’s note: New Mexico Magazine features the Los Alamos Nature Center in its April edition and has granted the Los Alamos Daily Post permission to publish the piece.
Over the decades, the residents of Los Alamos have basked in the region’s spectacular natural attributes, from Bandelier National Monument to Pajarito Mountain Ski Area. It makes perfect sense, then, that the town’s latest architectural landmark casts an eye toward the outdoors.
In fact, the design of the new Los Alamos Nature Center practically begs visitors to gaze outside, both downward through an immense glass curtain wall into a rugged canyon more than 100 feet below, and upward toward the starry night skies, in the state-of-the-art planetarium.
Los Alamos County funded this $4.3 million, 7,000-square-foot building and tapped Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) to operate it. Arizona-based Zucker Architecture designed the angular, wing-like building, clad in adobe and sandstone, with Santa Fe–based Andrew Merriell and Associates creating the more than $1.2 million worth of engaging exhibits.
“It’s a beautiful building in a most beautiful setting,” says Katie Watson, PEEC executive director. “But come see it for what’s inside—the exhibits are fun, exciting, and interactive.”
They include a large-scale model of the Pajarito Plateau, which kids are encouraged to climb on.
“You’ll be having such a great time exploring,” adds Watson, “that you won’t even realize you’re becoming an expert on what makes nature in northern New Mexico special.”
Admission is free. See website for hours. 2600 Canyon Road; 505.662.0460; peecnature.org
Read the full story in New Mexico Magazine here.