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SWA Group 在德州高地岛的史密斯奥克斯保护区 (Smith Oaks Sanctuary) 设计的景观装置,把一个偏远的后工业化地区变成了一个更可达的观鸟者天堂。

SWA Group’s landscape “intervention” for the Smith Oaks Sanctuary in High Island, TX, transforms a remote, post-industrial site into a more accessible birder’s paradise.


▼项目视频 Video © SWA-Jonnu Singleton


▼保护区区位 Sanctuary location

©SWA Group

▼平面图 Site plan

©SWA Group



Central to the design is the introduction of Canopy Walk, a 213-meter-long, 5.4-meter-high boardwalk that elevates then threads visitors up into and through a canopy refuge long-known to the birding community as an important stopover for migratory birds.


▼林冠步道鸟瞰 Aerial view of the Canopy Walk

©SWA-Jonnu Singleton
©SWA-Jonnu Singleton



Here remnants of the oil industry add industrial character to the Island’s distinct ecology and geology: a salt-dome that rises enough from the surface of an otherwise flat saltwater marshland to lift the flora and fauna into a layer of fresh water, protected from tides and storm surge.


▼高地岛地层剖面 High Island strata-scene

©SWA Group



While salt domes are common to Southeast Texas, this particular salt dome elevates the ground 9.7 meters above the surrounding coastline, supporting the growth of trees and rendering it a beacon for birds migrating up the Central and Mississippi Migratory corridors.


▼在保护区聚集的候鸟 The birding community for migratory birds



In the Canopy Walk project, landscape architects at SWA sought to tread lightly on the land, leveraging existing abandoned infrastructure, and distinguishing the remote Smith Oaks Sanctuary, which is one of four sanctuaries in and around High Island.


©SWA-Jonnu Singleton
©SWA-Jonnu Singleton



The Canopy Walk boardwalk is supported by weathered steel pipes that speak to the site’s historic oil and gas infrastructure while also blending into the rich woodland habitat and iconic live oaks.  It serves as a new backbone to experience the area, and makes the site more accessible to all nature enthusiasts.


▼由风化的钢管支撑着的林冠步道 Canopy Walk boardwalk is supported by weathered steel pipes

©SWA-Jonnu Singleton
©SWA-Jonnu Singleton



The structure’s opening coincides with a surge in birding’s popularity, and a strong commitment from the Audubon Society to make the past-time, which is often characterized by slogging through muddy and mosquito-filled marshes, more approachable to the uninitiated or less mobile.


©SWA-Jonnu Singleton
©SWA-Jonnu Singleton



The Canopy Walk was designed to be robust enough to weather the harsh environment full of dense vegetation yet light enough on the land to retain its ecology, which includes a resident alligator population lurking within the island rookery waters.


▼潜伏着的鳄鱼种群 A resident alligator population lurking

©SWA-Jonnu Singleton
©SWA-Jonnu Singleton



The Canopy Walk also shelters visitors who can experience the birds as they take a break from their long migratory paths to nest and breed in High Island.


©SWA-Jonnu Singleton
©SWA-Jonnu Singleton
©SWA-Jonnu Singleton


“我无法想象出更好的设计,更好的施工、更好的外观,最重要的是,能更好地运转的鸟平台。” 克莱·泰勒声称。他是一个狂热的观鸟者,同时也是施华洛世奇光学的博物学家和市场经理,他们正在考虑如何在场地上添加一个ST Vista望远镜,这将会唯一一个在北美安装的。“我知道这将是一条空中木步道,但这远远超出了我的预期。在候鸟迁徙的景象中,你会看到鸟群与你擦身而过。”

“I can’t imagine a better design, better engineered, better looking and, most importantly, better functioning bird platform,” asserts Clay Taylor, an avid birder who is Naturalist and Market Manager for Swarovski Optics, which is considering how to add an ST Vista spotting scope on the site, the only North America location to accommodate one. “I knew it would be an aerial boardwalk, but this far exceeded my expectations. You’ll be able to get up there and see the birds wash by you in the migratory spectacle.”


©SWA-Jonnu Singleton
©SWA-Jonnu Singleton
©SWA-Jonnu Singleton



An elegant but inoperable concrete and brick pump house, leftover from an age of oil extraction in the 1930s, was designed by collaborating architects at SCHAUM/SHIEH to serve as a visitors’ pavilion. The cast-concrete ceiling and historic brick façade has been cleaned and exposed to reveal the history of the small-scale public infrastructure of this community, repurposed to this new center for visiting birders.


▼遗留的混凝土和砖块泵房作为游客展馆 An inoperable concrete and brick pump house serves as a visitors’ pavilion

©SWA-Jonnu Singleton


公共洗手间带有一个简单的山形屋顶,一个强有力的 “奥杜本-绿色” 图形立面标志着进入场地的大门。

The restroom building with a simple gabled roof but a strong graphic “Audubon-Green” façade marks a gateway into the project.


▼公共洗手间 The restroom

©SWA-Jonnu Singleton



Today, High Island offers a new perspective for birders where the productivity of its land was once measured in barrels. While Texas has a spotty history when it comes to understanding its scarred landscapes, Canopy Walk at High Island offers a site with layers of history that collide to support a unique ecology, especially conducive to the avian their birder fans.


©SWA-Jonnu Singleton




设计公司:SWA Group
SWA设计团队:Natalia Beard, Matt Baumgarten, Andrew Gressett, Rhett Rentrop
客户/开发商:Houston Audubon Society
摄影师:SWA Group-Jonnu Singleton

SCHAUM/SHIEH Architects – 公共洗手间/游客中心建筑设计
CSF Consulting LP – 结构/土建
Hunt & Hunt – 机电
Millis Development – 总承包商
Renfro & Company – 金属加工
Linda Feltner – 解说展览

Project Name: Kathrine G. McGovern Canopy Walkway at Smith Oaks Bird Sanctuary
Completion Year: 2020
Project Area: 213-meter-long elevated boardwalk set within the 177-acre Smith Oaks Bird Sanctuary
Location: High Island, Texas
Design Firm: SWA Group
Company Website: www.swagroup.com
SWA Design Team: Natalia Beard,Matt Baumgarten, Andrew Gressett, Rhett Rentrop
Client/Developer: Houston Audubon Society
Photographer: SWA Group-Jonnu Singleton

SCHAUM/SHIEH Architects – Architecture for Re-stroom/Visitor Center
CSF Consulting LP – Structural/Civil
Hunt & Hunt – MEP
Millis Development – General Contractor
Renfro & Company – Metal Fabrication
Linda Feltner – Interpretive Exhibits


更多 Read more about: SWA Group