The Gulf Coast Center for Ecotourism and Sustainability

Watershed worked with the City of Gulf Shores on the conceptual design and grant acquisition for the Center of Ecotourism and Sustainability starting in 2015, then partnered with ArchitectureWorks in order to design a world class ecotourism and experiential learning facility. The campus is adjacent to Gulf State Park, and Gulf Shores elementary, middle, and high schools. The design is intended to reflect the mission of the Center, and foster appreciation of the unique biodiversity of Gulf Shores’s coastal environment. The Center’s mission is to promote tourism in the Gulf Coast region through the creation and implementation of programs that support sustainable tourism, raise environmental awareness, and encourage the stewardship of natural resources in order to increase community resilience and strengthen the regional economy.
The Campus includes a long leaf pine savannah, wetlands, and uploads with sand pine and oak forests. Facilities include a Welcome Hub with classroom and staff offices, Gathering Hub to host events, Maker Hub for crafts and project based learning, Farm Hub for hands on work growing food, native plants, and composting, and a Wetlands Hub to teach wetlands ecology. The campus will host a variety of educational programs in collaboration with Gulf Shores City Schools, and the City of Gulf Shores, most notably the internationally renowned “Ambassadors of the Environment program created by the Ocean Futures Society.

LEED Gold Certification
FORTIFIED Commercial™
Schoolyard Habitat Certification

Project Type:  New Construction: Education, Assembly
Location:  Gulf Shores, AL
Role:  Local Architect, Sustainability Consultant

This project is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Treasury in cooperation with the State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Learn more about what makes this project unique.