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Central Suriname Nature Reserve


Central Suriname Nature Reserve

Amazonian Rain Forest Eco-Resort


Conservation International


The Central Suriname Nature Reserve in South America, created in 1998, protects four million acres of pristine tropical wilderness (the size of New Jersey), nearly 10%
of the land area of the country of Suriname. It is
recognized by the United Nations as a world heritage
site. Conservation International has partnered with the Surinamese forest service to develop sustainable eco-tourism facilities in the heart of the Reserve on Foengoe Island on the Coppename River. PWA has designed three tourist accommodation buildings for the park: the forest bungalow prototype, renovation of an existing lodge, and new construction of a timber frame visitor center pavilion.

Forest Bungalows

The prototype was developed as a luxurious overnight accommodation for the intrepid nature lover. The simple open walled platform structure is a cozy observation deck nestled in and amongst the rich sights and sounds of the jungle undergrowth. The basket like roof, woven out of rainforest palm fronds, is an indigenous building technique of the Amerindians. A spiraling wall of river rocks, gathered from the park, provides privacy for the toilet and shower. Locally harvested brownheart tree trunks stand as columns melding the bungalow to the surrounding forest as if it grew up from the site.

Guinini Lodge

Named for the local harpy eagle, the lodge originally had three family suites that were too dark, hot, and bat-infested for use. The new design takes advantage of the lodge's prime river overlook. Exterior walls were deconstructed to open the building to views and air, while interior walls were added to privatize 10 visitor rooms, each with bathrooms. Vibrantly colored interior walls, inspired by rainforest flora and fauna, individualize the rooms. Hand-crafted wood louvers screen window and door openings from public view while allowing for air circulation in the hot humid climate.

Visitor Center Pavilion

The three-story timber frame pavilion serves as a landmark gateway to tourism in the Central Suriname Nature Reserve. The open pavilion structure adjacent to the Foengoe Island boat landing welcomes visitors arriving by dug-out canoe and serves as a beacon to those arriving by propeller plane. The timber frame, made of local rot resistant brownheart and purpleheart wood, was raised by hand in collaboration with the North American Timber Framers Guild. The building houses the central kitchen
and dining area for all park guests and staff as well as gathering space for educational and cultural programs. On the top floor there is a bar with a magnificent 360 degree view of the dense jungle canopy and boulder-studded river below.


"A Pavilion in Suriname." Timber Framing, Journal of the Timber Framers Guild, Number 79, March 2006: 12-17 

"Raleighvallen Tourist Pavilion." Wood Design & Building, Number 42, Spring 2008: 27-29 

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