This new research center supports U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service studies on fish reproduction, nutrition and contaminants, as well as fish physiology and therapeutic drug research. The facility includes a new high-performance research laboratory and administration headquarters which centralizes USFWS technology center staff into a single structure. A small interpretive center promotes public outreach and environmental education opportunities, as well as providing visitors the opportunity to orient themselves to the Fish Technology Center’s mission and site before embarking on a self-guided tour of the grounds.
Operationally, the laboratory component is programmed to maintain 24/7 operations, while the administrative program operates on a conventional 8 hour weekday schedule. In addition, security considerations require a clear separation of uses along similar lines. For this reason, the design is organized into two discrete wings with limited, controlled access to the research laboratories and public access to the administrative center.
The design differentiates between administrative center and laboratory by cladding the former in wood (along with researchers’ offices) and the latter in aluminum panels. These material selections reinforce the vernacular and industrial setting of the immediate region. Wood siding is Western Red Cedar, a rapidly renewable species native to the Northern Rockies and is regionally harvested and milled. The aluminum roof and wall panels are a recyclable material that minimizes waste to landfill.