Green Village is a "village in the woods," envisioned as a sustainable, environmentally responsible community with visiting researchers and "citizen scientists" working at SERC.

The focal point of the complex is a planted wall "grotto" overlooking a rain garden that collects and treats stormwater. From this point, the water moves downhill where it joins an existing stormwater wetland, forming an interconnected system and, thus, providing an outreach opportunity for conveying principles of sound environmental management. The water landscape is part of a more clearly defined community space that links the existing Dormitory, a new Scientist-Citizen Lodge, and 6 Cottages to the existing Schmidt Center, whose function has been reimagined as a flexible meeting and event space. The community space is also outfitted with a gazebo and casual plaza to support the social life of SERC.
The buildings have been integrated into the forested hillside with minimal disturbance to the landscape, and the buildings' forms and attributes respond to the topography through stacked levels and decks. Both the Lodge and the Cottages employ a LEED Gold host of sustainability concepts and techniques—from passive solar/breeze features to state-of-the-art sensors and water recycling technologies—all of which have been carefully chosen to produce the character of a sustainable "village in the woods."

CLIENT: Smithsonian Institution Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
SERVICES: Contributions to Master Plan concept, layout, and development
PARTNER: EwingCole Architects and Engineers led the project and was responsible for all architectural development.
CREDITS: All images courtesy of EwingCole (, who crafted the model, drawings, and report

  Copyright Kathy Poole, all rights reserved, subject to all fair use regulations, not to be reproduced or used without expressed written permission.