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SPOTLIGHT REPORT


Westcave Preserve adds a learning center


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Photo: Westcave Preserve Photo: Westcave preserve

Westcave Preserve has long been considered one of the most beautiful natural places in Central Texas. Now a new learning center complements the parks' stunning, natural beauty.

"When you come to a place that's this majestic, this spectacular, for me personally the last place I want to be is inside," said Architect Robert Jackson, who has already received awards for his design of the new visitor center. "Everything is reversed. The land is so much more important than the architecture that you reverse your thinking you set up new priorities."

Photo: Learning Center at Westcave PreserveJackson worried about how he would complement this natural environment and studied other structures that have successfully complemented a beautiful natural place. The National Park Service served as a great model for what he wanted to accomplish at the Westcave Preserve.

His plan blends 21st century technology and environmental sustainability with traditional park architecture. One of the most unique elements of the building is a solar calendar which marks the cycles of the season following the path of the sun.

"I think the serenity of the space, the simplicity of it, to me, in terms of how it connects to the experience of the canyon is really important," Jackson said. "If it feels like a chapel or something to somebody, I would love it."

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