Forest Service structures on the Great Plains

must respond to the subtle landscapes of their

settings. They should be low to the ground, of

light color and structure, and provide shade and

other sheltering elements against a harsh

climate. Study cultural landmarks such as ranch

complexes and farmsteads to see how they were

integrated into the land. To achieve sustainability,

carefully choose materials that endure and

provide comfort with minimal expenditure of

energy and materials.


Figure of work structure characteristics with solar orientation/daylighting.


Figure of appropriate building elements include:

• Daylighting shaded

• Stepped horizontal rooflines

• Rooted in landscape


Figure of a shade shelter for interpretation with characteristic use of:

• Light, dimensional timbers

• Local stone, such as sandstone, layered in horizontal pattern


Figure of toilet facility with characteristics of:

• Light structure

• Fine-scale materials


Figure of utilitarian, work center with characteristics of finer detailing.


Figure of a building with low, horizontal forms.


Figure of visitor center with the following  characteristics:

• Horizontal site elements

• Horizontal bands of windows

• Layered, horizontal planes

• Broad overhangs

• Vertical accent




Chapter 4.5 Table of Contents

Reader’s Guide