Flint Hills Discovery Center Playscape
Category: 2023 Hospitality/Public Space
Architect: BBN Architects
Image Flooring LLC
Starnet Preferred Vendors:
ARDEX, MAPEI, Mohawk Soft Surfaces, RFMS, Roppe
The Flint Hills are a unique tallgrass prairie ecosystem in which grasses can grow up to 10 feet tall and have a root system that can grow up to 15 feet deep to reach limited groundwater. These hills are centered in Kansas and northern Oklahoma. This area contains fossils over 250 million years old and is currently home to over 150 birds, 40 reptiles and amphibians, and 35 mammal species. The Flint Hills Discovery Center is located in the northern portion of the Flint Hills in Manhattan, KS. The learning center was built to educate and inspire the next generation of land stewards. In 2022, the remodeled 2nd floor of the Discovery Center was funded 100% by the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation, a 501c3 charitable organization, with no City tax dollars spent. The new 2nd floor is now called Prairie Playscape.
The Flooring Layout was conceived as an abstracted topographical map and has curved geometrics that echoes the terrazzo floor geometry featured in the main atrium space. Bold colors were intentionally chosen to coordinate with Discovery Center branding and to create moments of color intensity at different interactive exhibits. Mohawk Carpet Tile was chosen for the bright colors in the patterns Color Balance and Color Beat. Each of the three color areas corresponds with an educational theme. Exploring the Land, represented in blue, is where kids can identify prairie flowers, see live animals, and explore the wind on the prairie. Working the Land, represented in red and brown, is an area where visitors can learn how people have adapted to the land with skills like stone fence building and cattle ranching. Sharing the Land, represented in green, is an area where you can see how the food we eat is produced on the prairie and transported across the country and around the world. Our whole team was excited to be a part of this fun project which allowed our installers to show their artistic skill!