Grand Canyon Village Interpretive Center
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Grand Canyon Village Interpretive Center

November 21, 2014
Designed to create the new primary interpretive facility at the South Rim of the Grand  Canyon, this project combines renovated historic structures and exterior spaces in the 21-acre historic Grand Canyon Village to create an “Interpretive Village.” The object is to provide a participatory learning experience for rim visitors that will enhance their experience and understanding of the grand Canyon resource.

Six historic buildings, all listed on the National Historic Register, will be preserved, and adaptively reused to include an immersive learning experiences, state-of-the-art interpretive exhibits, interactive displays and educational resources. Connecting these existing structures, visitors wander through a sustainable landscape and interpretive features that illustrate thematic connections of the people, land, animals, and plants of the region.

A new outdoor amphitheater and smaller group of gathering spaces also support the educational programs presented in the Village. Each of the historic buildings in the complex offers different experiences, developing a deeper understanding of this treasured national park. The historic Powerhouse offered interpretation on its history, geology, native plants and animals, and its local and Native American history. The historic Maintenance Building displayed a wealth of art about the canyon and a Canyon Boat Museum in the historic Laundry Building shared the stories of the river experience. The historic Mule Barn became the center for all the educational programs at the park and an active mule operation was maintained in the historic Livery Stable and Horse Shoeing Shed.

This entire interpretive village is being designed to LEED® Gold certification standards and seeks to set the highest standards for “Green” National Park Services projects. The historic buildings all incorporate innovative natural ventilation and energy conservation strategies. The challenges of this project where to find appropriate re-uses for each of the buildings that complimented and preserved their historic fabric, to think through easy visitor connectivity to the rim and to do so in a manner that would preserve and enhance these resources for future generations to enjoy.

Location / year

Grand Canyon, AZ / 2004

Project Type

Historic Structure

Project Scope

Historical Renovations
LEED & Green Building

Square Footage


Sustainable / LEED

Registered/Designed for LEED


Peter Pfau, FAIA, LEED AP

Project Manager

Karen Mar

Photographic Credits

Chris Grubbs

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