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    Page 1

    Chr is Au

    604 961 3472

    Chr is .Au@DidaxDes ign .com

    Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park Visitor CentreC L I E N T The visitor centre was developed for the Government of Alberta and is located in the townsite of

    Elkwater, Alberta.

    P R O J E C T The Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is Canada's only provincial-level park that straddles two provinces; in this case, Alberta and Saskatchewan. The visitor centre was purpose-built (LEED certified) with an interpretive exhibit area (approx. 300 sm), tourism services, gif t shop, community facilities, and an outdoor interpretive trail. The media mix included conventional static displays (text, images, specimens and artifacts), A/V presentations, soundscapes, as well as computer and physical interactives.

    Chris Au was under contract with Lunny Group International to develop the facility signage and interpretive graphics for the centre. The exhibits were produced by Westwind Display Ltd.

    OBJECTIVE To enhance visitor experiences to the park with engaging stories of the park, the natural environment, and human history.

    A U D I E N C E With the exception of the area residents using the community facilities, the bulk of the visitors would be travellers and vacationers in family groups. The interest level would span the gamut of streakers, strollers, and scholars.

    C H A L L E N G E S The major challenge was to present a rich tapestry of stories to an audience with varying levels and areas of interest. These stories needed to be told in an engaging and cost effective manner that resonates with a wide cross-section of visitor profiles.

    Tales from the UndergroundEach layer within these Hills tells a different story of different landscapes and climates, different plants and animals, different geological events.


    Lets start with the rocks. Each layer represents a different formation, created as sediments were deposited by water, then compressed and hardened

    into rock.

    Now and then we nd clues to surprising creatures that lived here fossils of marine

    molluscs, dinosaurs, even ancient relatives of the camel, sabre-toothed cat,

    rhinoceros and giant armadillo!

    And on top of it all? The earth on top of the plateau is a remnant from the last Ice Age. When

    the glaciers receded they left behind rock-scrapings along the lower slopes of the Cypress Hills. Winds picked up the lightest and nest of this glacial till, covering the hilltop in a thick layer of loess, up to three metres thick.


    Grain size is a clue to what the environment was like. Gravels were carried by fast-moving streams. Fine clays would have settled in still water. Dig deeper to learn more!

    Sandstone and shale layers can be seen on side of Ferguson Hill Road.

    Visitor engagement, civic pride, and staff morale

    A mix of active and passive media

    and display techniques provided a

    truly rich experience for visitors of

    all ages and levels of interest.



    Page 2

    Chr is Au

    604 961 3472

    Chr is .Au@DidaxDes ign .com

    Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park Visitor Centre

    Graphics Design DevelopmentJune 2006 [e]


    1.0 Sample Layouts1.4 Small InterpretIve panelS

    31" x 31"175 words max

    16" x 31"125 words max

    16" x 16"75 words max

    16" x 16"75 words max

    16" x 16"75 words max

    16" x 16"75 words max

    31" x 16"125 words max

    31" x 31"175 words max 31" x 31"

    175 words max 31" x 31"175 words max 16" x 31"

    125 words max16" x 31"

    125 words max16" x 31"

    125 words max

    31" x 16"125 words max 31" x 16"

    125 words max 31" x 16"125 words max

    Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park Visitor Centre

    A P P R O A C H Develop a graphic programme that:


    engagedvisitorswithalivelyyetknowledgeable tone;

    presentedinformationinhierarchalformat to catch varying levels of interest.

    M E T H O D O L O G Y Planning:

    identifymeansforvisualcontinuityand diversity;


    Design Development:




    Final Design:



    O U T C O M E S Increased level of visitor engagement, civic pride amongst area residents, and staff morale.


    Cypress Hil



    cial Park

    Visitor Cen



    + Media


    April 2006

    3.3 Habit


    tions Node


    Pantone: 363

    Pantone: 144

    Pantone: 300

    Pantone: 5825

    Pantone: 414

    @ 90%

    Pantone: 413

    @ 70%


    Pantone: 555



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    Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park

    Visitor CentreGraphics Design Development

    June 2006 [e]


    1.0 Sample Layouts1.5 ADDitionAl interpretive pAnels

    Banner 31" x 132"

    timeline Culture intro 46" x 71"175 words

    node / Centre iD 71" x 16"

    label 3" x 8"50 words max

    label 5.5" x 8"125 words max

    label 3" x 5.5"25 words

    label 5.5" x 5.5"75 words max

    label 8" x 5.5"125 words maxlabel 3" x 3"

    20 words max

    label 5.5" x 3"25 words max

    label 8" x 3"50 words max

    label 15.5" x 3"75 words

    timeline Figure Cutout Full size


    This visitor centre was designed and built to meet inter-national environmen-tal standards set by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Envi-ronmental Design). LEED certifi ca-tion is awarded to building projects

    that meet higher performance stan-dards in environmen-tal responsibility and energy effi ciency.


    Buildings consume 40 percent of the raw materials used annually throughout the world.

    We shape our

    buildings and

    afterwards our

    buildings shape us.Sir Winston Churchill


    From site selection, to construction materials, to energy and water ef-fi ciency, to air quality this visitor centre was designed and built with an important goal in mind the health of the environment. Green buildings use less energy and wa-ter, generate fewer greenhouse gases and other pollutants, cost less to operate, and typi-cally last longer. That makes good sense and good cents.

    BUILDING GREENJust as we make environment-friendly lifestyle choices, we can also choose how we build buildings, like this visitor centre, that reduce our impact on the environment.

    Low flush toilets to conserve water usage.

    Energy efficient windows large sized for light and north-

    facing to minimize heat-gain.Recycled flyash in concrete.

    Low VOCs (noxious fumes) in construction materials such as

    adhesives and paints.

    1.00-03 v1 46x16.indd 1 7/7/06 2:09:53 PM