Gallery: New Rammed Earth Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center Introduces T...

Wyoming isn't typically thought of as a leader in green design or renewable energy; these days, the sparsely-populated state is more closely associated with coal production. But a new welcome center along Interstate 25 in Southeast Wyoming, which was designed by Denver-based AndersonMasonDale Architects, could change that. The new rammed-earth facility, which opened in autumn 2012, is one of the greenest rest areas in the country, and with several interactive installations and displays, it seeks to inform weary travelers about sustainable architecture and renewable energy systems.

Unlike most welcome centers and rest areas, the new Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center really encourages visitors to get out of their cars and stretch their legs. The entire site covers more than 26 acres and it features more than one mile of walking trails. The grounds contain several cleansing wetlands that are intended to collect and clean runoff from Interstate 25.

But the main attraction is the new 27,000-square-foot building, which is made from rammed earth. To emphasize the building technique, the walls of the welcome center are striped to represent cross-sections of the earth and the layers of time that it took to build it. Rammed earth is considered a sustainable building technique uses a readily-available resource (soil), and it minimizes the need to use wood or quarry stone.


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