The building design is incredibly unique and striking. Inside and out, the rich, warm tones of the timbers and cladding connect visitors to the region’s forests and ground the building in place. Inspired by the organic forms and natural systems of a native orchid, the project is organized into undulating green roof ‘petals’ that float above rammed earth walls. The building’s unique organic form is based on the petal structure of a native British Columbia orchid. They realized that a new facility was needed – one that could attract visitors locally while elevating the garden’s profile internationally. Undulating vegetated roof “petals” seem to float above glass windows and curving walls made from rammed earth and concrete. The simple palette of materials and organic shapes help the Visitor Centre seem of the site. Our design places the new Visitor Centre at the entrance to the Garden, providing glimpses of the beautiful spaces within and transforming it into a gateway that inspires visitors and passersby to explore the grounds beyond. Unlike its better-known predecessor in Rome’s Pantheon, this round rooftop opening is protected from the elements, and its diameter varies from about 15 feet at its base to just under 10 feet at its top. Commercial, Mass Timber, Multi-Family, Sustainability, Mass Timber, Multi-Family, Sustainability, Tall Wood.
The botanical garden context defines the form of the Visitor Centre, which is set into the landscape like a woodland flower. Constructing the Complex Geometry of a Curved Roof. The project included a streamside restoration, and the building’s green roofs were designed to attract and support native fauna. With its distinct organic roof form and extensive green building strategies, the Visitor Centre is more than a landmark in the city of Vancouver; it is an international icon of sustainability. We do not store your personal details.
Living Building, Core, ZC, & ZE Registration. A beautiful and dramatic focal point where all the roof “petals” converge, the central skylight oculus also serves a practical function: to cool the building and facilitate natural ventilation. VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre from Perkins+Will on Vimeo. From the atrium, visitors can exit into the gardens or access the building’s many amenities.
Guided by the Garden’s mandate and spirit of conservation, our design delicately balances architecture and landscape, integrating natural and human systems in meaningful ways to support biodiversity and ecological balance within the site. Like shafts of light through stained glass, the oculus casts an ever-changing pool of light on the floor below, prompting people to pause and reflect. Finalist, Globe Award for Excellence in Urban Sustainability, Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia Merit Recipient, Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Engineering Excellence.
The slatted petals converge in the central oculus, drawing the eye to a feature which is both beautiful and practical. The Visitor Centre uses on-site, renewable sources—geothermal boreholes, solar photovoltaics, solar hot water tubes—to target net-zero energy on an annual basis. The project is constructed largely out of wood, an abundant resource in the Pacific Northwest. A perforated aluminum suncatcher heightens the stack effect by creating a greater temperature differential between the oculus and the floor level. Land ramps link the roof petals to the ground plane, inviting local fauna to access the habitat.
Guided by the Garden’s mandate and spirit of conservation, our design delicately balances architecture and landscape, integrating natural and human systems in meaningful ways to … Specific areas include native plants that support butterfly colonies, and literal physical connections encourage creatures—even coyotes—to access the roof ecosystem.
The building’s unique organic form is based on the petal structure of a … At the Visitor Centre at VanDusen Botanical Garden, a wood-based construction system was utilized to create an iconic structure that would increase visibility and attract a younger demographic while adding facilities that would more adequately cater to user needs—including a café and flexible rental space for weddings and other events. The roof undulations, which blend seamlessly and seem to grow from the surrounding landscape, represent flower petals, converging at a skylight above the central atrium. ©2020 Think Wood. The rammed earth walls are built using local soils, and the varying bands of earth-tone pigmentation in these walls connects people to a sense of geology and to the earth on which they stand. It seemed the most appropriate choice for a natural garden setting. Recommend a wood design project for us to profile. Concept sketch of VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre exploring the roof form and solar chimney. The Center includes a café, an expanded library, volunteer facilities, a garden shop, office space, and flexible classroom spaces. Summer sun shines on darker surfaces to enhance ventilation further. Designed to be ‘radically green,’ the building generates all of its required energy on site and is seeking both LEED Platinum certification and Living Building Challenge recognition. the Vandusen Visitor centre The new Visitor Centre acts as the gateway to the Garden. When inside, the wood slatted ceiling evoke the gills of a mushroom. When visitorship to the VanDusen Botanical Garden began to decline in the early 2000’s, the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association and the Vancouver Parks Board embarked on a search for a way to revitalize interest in VanDusen as a destination. At the Visitor Centre at VanDusen Botanical Garden, a wood-based construction system was utilized to create an iconic structure that would increase visibility and attract a younger demographic while adding facilities that would more adequately cater to user needs—including a café and flexible rental space for weddings and other events.
When inside the Centre, the undulating ceilings and curved walls create a multi-dimensional experience that connects people to the natural forms of the plants in the garden beyond the building. Located in the centre of the atrium, and exactly at the centre of all the building’s various radiating geometry, the solar chimney highlights the role of sustainability by form and function. The complex geometry sparks curiosity about its underlying structure and the multiple functions it supports.
Inspired by the organic forms and … In keeping with existing buildings on the site which were built of heavy timber construction, any new building would also use a wood-based construction system. Designed to be one with nature, the Visitor Centre creates a harmonious balance between architecture and landscape—from both a visual and an ecological perspective. Providing a beautiful and warm environment—and sequestering enough carbon to achieve carbon neutrality—the Visitor Centre uses wood products extensively, from the panelized roof structure to the cladding, furnishings, millwork and wall finishes.
Rainwater is filtered and used for the building’s greywater requirements; 100% of blackwater is treated by an on-site bioreactor and released into a new feature percolation field and garden. By the year 2000, two existing buildings, the Floral Hall and the Garden Pavilion, were seeing much wear and the Garden’s entrance needed higher visibility. Changes were needed. Within the walls, variegated earth-toned bands evoke natural geologic strata. There was also a desire to attract more visitors and reach out to a younger demographic. The Center includes a café, an expanded library, volunteer facilities, a garden shop, office space, and flexible classroom spaces.
The Centre was created to excite, educate, and inspire visitors about the world of plants, and the unique and nature-inspired building serves as a transition space for people visiting from the city, readying them for the plants in the botanical garden, which is itself a product of human culture. Our design places the new Visitor Centre at the entrance to the Garden, providing glimpses of the beautiful spaces within and transforming it into a gateway that inspires visitors and passersby to explore the grounds beyond. At the center of the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre’s multipetaled structure is a circular space topped by a daylit oculus. Various 3D modeling programs were used to create the base geometry of the roof, using parametric techniques to optimize the curvature and layout.
Just as people are attracted to the delicate but purposeful structure of the orchid, so they are attracted to the beauty of this building. By using this website, you accept cookies.