Kaukauna Public Library Interactive Learning Garden

Recognizing the importance of nature and play in childhood development and an enrichment to the traditional library experience, the Kaukauna Public Library undertook years of initial design and fundraising to lay the groundwork for the Interactive Learning Garden.

Kaukauna, Wisconsin

Saiki Design teamed with SEH architects and worked with Kaukauna Public Library leadership to establish a unique outdoor space at the library’s new home in the renovated Old Eagle Mill site along the Fox River. Tasked with dreaming for the future, Saiki Design initially provided conceptual design and 3-D graphic design services to assist with\ fundraising initiatives for an interactive learning garden that would complement the library’s programming for children and families and bring together community members of all ages.

Drawing on the notion of separate but interconnected classroom nodes, Saiki Design envisioned a series of lively themed spaces, from a biology classroom featuring a butterfly garden to an archaeology classroom with hidden fossils. The classrooms were connected by versatile, colorful and imaginative paths woven through the entire garden, complete with an amphitheater to seat seventy adults and children. The thematic content was developed to reflect the library’s unique history and location along the Fox River and as part of a library system that has been active since 1888. Native plants, stone materials, and the backdrop of the rushing Fox River locks provided a distinct, place-based character.

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