Celebrating design that uplifts the human spirit.

The intent of the Beauty Petal is to recognize the need for beauty and the connection to nature as a precursor to caring enough to preserve, conserve, and serve the greater good.

– From the Living Building Challenge Standard

We are inspired by:

  • Our 50+ years of experience helping people find wonder and curiosity in nature.
  • Our beautiful natural surroundings and the incredible biodiversity within.
  • The natural peace and harmony found in the woods.
  • The rich culture of our region and the art, stories, and traditions of Appalachia.

Our approach:

We want all people to feel awed, uplifted and inspired when they visit our campus. We are fortunate to be building, living and exploring on a beautiful piece of property adjacent to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Our methods include:

  • Embracing biophilic design and biomimicry in our designs to find efficiencies, celebrate nature, and emphasize the connection between built spaces and our natural environment.
  • Designing the buildings to sit in the contours of the land, helping them to look and feel like part of the existing landscape.
  • Thoughtful use of regionally-appropriate building materials.
  • Integration of public art and design features that celebrate the culture and spirit of our region.
  • Placing the majority of our land under a conservation easement to permanently protect the property from future development.

Explore the Living Building Challenge imperatives with our teacher naturalists. Select a topic below to learn more.

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