Dream & Design immersive space opens at Anythink Wright Farms

The Dream and Design immersive space at Anythink Wright Farms.

To gather creative community input, Anythink has launched Dream & Design: Exploring Nature and Architecture, an immersive experience at Anythink Wright Farms where visitors can learn about and contribute ideas for the future Anythink Nature Library. People of all ages are invited to create a diorama using natural materials, guided by a prompt related to one of the library’s five focus areas: boundless, wellbeing, environmental stewardship, heritage and create beauty. Every two weeks, visitors are invited to respond to a new prompt, so the space will evolve over time. The Anythink Nature Library architects and design team will use these ideas to inform the new library’s design.

Anythink Libraries and the City of Thornton have entered an agreement to build a nature library on the current Aylor Open Lands property at 136th Avenue and Quebec Street in Thornton. After years of planning, Thornton City Council and the Anythink Board of Trustees signed an intergovernmental agreement in June 2022 that would lease 15 acres to the district, with plans to build a 35,000-square- foot nature library. The other 140 acres of open lands will be programmed by the Anythink team, and reserved for nature learning and exploration. Construction will tentatively begin third quarter 2023, with an anticipated open date in 2025.

“This library belongs to our community, and so we believe it's crucial for our community to be represented in the design process,” says Anythink Nature Library manager Maria Mayo. “We look forward to seeing what members of our community dream up as they design spaces and experiences inspired by nature.”

Design phase of the library project is currently underway, with five main areas of focus: creating a space that is boundless, where nature education is seamlessly provided within the library and throughout the surrounding land; wellbeing, focusing on the health and wellness of the community; environmental stewardship, expanding individual responsibility to the earth; heritage, celebrating the history and culture of the people, animals, flora and fauna of the West; and beauty, creating a space that is designed to inspire. These areas of focus are part of the prompts that guide visitors as they create their dioramas in the immersive space.

“Dream & Design invites the community to participate in the architectural design process in a completely different way,” says Anythink Director of Strategic Partnerships Stacie Ledden. “By engaging all the senses, the space inspires people to contemplate nature – whether that’s the Aylor property or a place in nature meaningful to them. Already the shelves are filled with hundreds of ideas, and we’re excited to see how those ideas grow and evolve over the coming weeks.”

The Anythink Nature Library will be designed to support the wellbeing of the Thornton community through spaces, experiences and collections. The library will act as a natural extension of the Aylor Open Lands and will encourage people of all ages to spend time outdoors learning about stars, water, wildlife and seasonal changes to help build a culture of environmental stewardship. This natural experience is intended to spark imagination and creativity, while providing a place to practice being human.