Knoch Knolls Nature Center

Naperville , Illinois / United States of America

Located on a 224-acre natural site, at the confluence of the east and west branches of the DuPage River, is the new 6,300-square-foot Knoch Knolls Nature Center. Developed as a home base for nature exploration and a model of sustainability, the design and construction teams, along with the client, Naperville Park District, were interested in trying innovative ways to conserve water and energy in the building and worked together to problem-solve any issues. The result is a beautiful building for the community that brings people closer to the natural environment.

As a nature center meant to enliven visitors’ sense of wonder about the natural world and provide connection to local ecosystems, including the river and its culture heritage, the building was designed around the primary theme of ‘celebrating water.’

A butterfly-shaped roof over the west end of the building gives artistic expression to the harvesting of rain that is collected in a 1,500-gallon rainwater harvesting cistern, located in the center of the exhibit lobby space.

The design for this LEED-Platinum certified facility features indoor and outdoor educational exhibits, two classrooms that are 100 percent day-lit, public restrooms, photovoltaic panels, a deck overlooking a reshaped pond, and a green roof.

Architect of Record

Wight & Company


Naperville Park District

General Contractor

Wight Construction


  • Wight & Company
  • Wight & Company
  • Wight & Company