The Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center will inspire a new generation of environmental stewards, sharing a deeper understanding of how nature and energy are connected, their complicated history, and their mutually beneficial potential.
As a net zero building that will meet Governor Cuomo’s recently signed Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’s objectives almost thirty years before its targets, the building itself, as well as its real- time energy performance, will be prominently displayed as part of the permanent exhibition.
The building’s linear footprint emerges from the reuse of foundations belonging to a Robert Moses-era bathhouse, extended on two sides with additional piles. At 320 feet in length, the new one-story building has been designed as a “chalet for all”, continuing the public legacy of the site.
Organized around a series of interior volumes housing offices, support spaces and classrooms, a continuous sequence of exhibition spaces flows outwards to a shaded exterior perimeter deck, and onwards to the site at large. The building’s distinctive wave- like form, signaling the sloping ceilings of the gallery spaces within, conveys waves in both energy and nature.
9.5 acres of Moses-era concrete surface parking have been demolished, to be reused as subbase under the building, new roads and a new immersive landscape. Envisioned as a dune restoration project using native species, the landscape will also perform as an armature for an outdoor interpretive exhibition.