NC Estuary Center

Estuary Park View

Estuary Nature Center, Wilmington, NC
Academic Project


The use of oft-forgotten space underneath a highway bridge makes not only an interesting intersection of infrastructure and environment, but also allows the bulk of the peninsula to be reserved and restored as protected habitat and public park. While Wilmington has an abundance of successful riverfront walks, it lacks open parkland and accessible natural areas. The location of the Nature Center maximizes acreage for these purposes and links to the existing and planned framework.

Estuary sketch © Chris Bozzelli, RA

Estuary Map © Chris Bozzelli, RA

Estuary Sustainability Images

The Center roof is situated ideally to catch bridge runoff, filter it through a rooftop planter rain garden, and slow flow to the river.

Estuary Light



The bridge is used as a giant shading device to minimize summer heat gain, but with a consequence of an excess of shade in the courtyard. The North building of the Estuary Center has been positioned to help reflect afternoon light into the courtyard.

Estuary Courtyard



Estuary First Floor Plan


Estuary Second Floor Plan


Downtown View Comparison