While eco-friendly architecture is rapidly growing in popularity worldwide, sustainable design can almost always be found in nature-centric structures like environmental education centers. Designed by Prague-based Petr Hájek Architekti, the Krkonoše Mountains Centre for Environmental Education champions eco-friendly building practices with a sedum green roof and low-impact design. Located on the park grounds of the northern Czech town Vrchlabí, the education center is sunken into the landscape to minimize its visual impact and is topped with geometric rooflines inspired by the nearby Krkonoše mountain range.
The angular, mountain-inspired rooftop comprises sedum-covered triangles framed by metal vectors that represent the slopes of the nearby mountain range. The sides of the building located above ground are glazed to let in views and natural light. The new education center, which comprises a conference room, classroom, exhibition space, and research laboratories, is separated from the existing administrative offices by a passageway. A car park is also nestled underground with separate entrances for cyclists and drivers.
As part of its mission to educate and promote nature conservation, the center is designed with energy efficient principles. The majority of the building is built underground to mitigate weather fluctuations and reduce heating and cooling costs. In contrast to the structural walls, which are constructed out of cool gray concrete, many of the partitions, floors, and furniture are made from honey-colored plywood to add a sense of warmth to the interior.
Images via Petr Hájek Architekti