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ROUND BUTTE VISITOR CENTER

project date: 2009 | by peter reedijk

Perched on a rim overlooking the 400-deep basalt gorge and reservoir behind Round Butte Dam, Portland General Electricís Visitor Center provides breathtaking views. Soaring eagles look small in comparison to the vast chasm below. In 2010, Sea Reach was contracted to design, fabricate and install the centerís new exhibits. The space presented some difficult challenges. A large bank of cantilevered windows dominating one entire wall meant that all the exhibits would need to withstand UV exposure and an elevated platform (added for ADA purposes after the building was finished) to provide viewing at the window, divided the already small space in half. We had to focus our efforts on integrating the entire space.

Interpretive stories focused on the new fish transport system designed to assist fish around the dams, the unique partnership between a utility company (PGE) and a local Tribe, the history of the dams and how electricity is generated by water, and the three rivers that feed into Lake Billy Chinook: Metolius, Deschutes and Crooked Rivers In one corner room, a bald eagle sits on its nest surveying the room.

 

 

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