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RINEHART HERBST

SMALL PROJECTS 2005

Photography by Greg Yeatter

No longer selling strawberries, the Strawberry Stand Wetlands Learning Center, in California, will usher in the restoration of the lagoon and be a placeholder for the future visitors' centre.

Commissioned by the San Dieguito Wetlands Restoration Project, this unusual structure needed to be temporary, reusable and iconographic. The silhouette was critical, as the mission of the San Dieguito Wetlands Restoration Project is to connect the source of the river with the Pacific ocean, the mountains to the sea, to secure a stunning open-space corridor and to protect critical components of the area's regional habitat system.

The centre is designed as a temporary structure in both appearance and function. The walls and roof of the original strawberry stand (a shed) have been unsheathed and extended.

This shell comprises exposed timber studs and joists demarcating the building volume. Three stiffening cables wrap this perimeter framing, anchored to the studs and foundation beams.

Foundations, employing steel helical piers to stabilise and lift the floating timber foundation beams, are designed for removal. A ridge beam, rising toward the lagoon, is cantilevered from two braces that lock the side frames against rotation and racking.

The Strawberry Stand Wetlands Learning Center achieves lightness through its temporary nature and its architecture. All work on it was done by volunteers.

Landscape was by Lane Goodkind Landscape Architect; graphics by LubaLisa.

Cost: $116,000 (£62,000)

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