Preston Outdoor Education Station

Engaging real challenges of architectural education in North America’s most threatened landscape.

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YMCA’s Camp Wood commissioned this education station for North America’s most endangered landscape: the native Tall grass Prairie. Requirements were: 1) it must survive annual prairie burns, and 2) the intervention must recede into the landscape. During the fall, the studio researched the complexities of the site, and in the spring, produced drawings, prototypes, pricing information, and the project itself. What began as a simple shade structure evolved into a flexible platform that connects campers to the expansive landscape. Each station engages the environment through locally-sourced materials and focuses on essential elements of the prairie — insects, wind, stone, grass, and sky. The stations are connected by a path anchored by a 300 linear foot, dry stacked limestone wall.
  • 2016
  • Architect, Fabricator, Educator
  • Elmdale, KS
  • 1,300 linear foot trail; 300 linear foot dry stacked limestone wall


  • YMCA Camp Wood

Eldo Team

  • Principal: David Dowell, AIA

KSU Design + Make Studio

  • Torrence Campbell
  • Tamra Collins
  • Luke Custer
  • AJ Henry
  • Brent Higgins
  • Daniel Johnson
  • Phil Macaluso
  • Alex Martinez
  • Kelsey Middlekamp
  • Briana Reece
  • Jake Rose
  • Sevrin Scarcelli
  • Blake Toews


  • Contractor (stone mason): Luke Koch


  • 2017 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) - Design-Build Award
  • 2017 The Chicago Athenaeum - The American Architecture Award
  • 2017 AZURE Magazine - AZ Award for A+ Student Award - Winner
  • 2017 Architizer A+ Awards - Special Mention
  • 2017 Architects Newspaper Best of Design Awards - Student Work, Winner
  • 2016 Kansas State University - Kremer Prize for Outstanding Collaborative Design Achievement
  • 2016 AIA Kansas Design Awards - Citation for Excellence in Student Architecture


Photography by

  • Mike Sinclair


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