rocky reach dam discovery center
Chelan County PUD No. 1
Since 1962 the Rocky Reach Visitor Center has sat on the west bank of the Columbia River, overlooking the Rocky Reach Dam spillway and iconic fish ladder. The building is a landmark with its folded plate roof, radiused balconies and double stacked windows to view the riverfront landscape. The center has remained a tourist destination for over 60 years, drawing a seasonal crowd of tourists, students and locals.
a destination for year-round,
21st century style learning
Chelan County PUD brought new life into the building with a rebranding and effort renovation effort that refreshed the structure, systems and amenities. The Discovery Center will feature exhibit content that brings life to the history of the region, significance of the river and evolution of the PUD. The unique architectural features will be protected by maintaining the period aesthetic. Upper levels feature steel, terrazzo tile, glass and hardwood accents.
The upper levels feature steel, terrazzo tile, glass and hardwood accents. A modest expansion updated the café with an indoor dining area, covered exterior dining and upper-floor office space for administrative staff.
The main level includes introductory exhibits and a small theater. The below-ground floors contain more exhibits and live fish viewing. Upgraded finishes, additional restrooms and a signage wayfinding system enhances the user experience. Outside, a dynamic entry approach increases visibility for visitors. As the most prominent exterior feature, a new double-story, translucent canopy offers shelter for riverfront viewing, outdoor dining and open-air exhibits.
Structural modifications were designed with a specific intent in a limited capacity. A unique project aspect is the amount of exposed structural members—which are now architectural focal points. Pacific Engineering had to develop creative structural solutions that were strong yet aesthetically pleasing while being cost conscious. Another challenge we overcame was working within the confines of interfacing the existing, complex non-traditional structure to match the modern architectural upgrades.