The new VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre by Perkins+Will

This is the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre. It’s a new addition to the city of Vancouver, Canada. The green building was designed by Perkins+Will and it bends beautifully in the surrounding landscape. The combination between modern architecture and nature is in constant balance and the design and the materials contribute to this effect. Not only that the visitor center is surrounded by nature but it’s also a green building designed with green building strategies to help it achieve net-zero energy.

The design for the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre was inspired by the organic forms and system of a native orchid. As a result, the building features undulating green roof petals floating above the concrete walls and a central atrium with a skylight that introduces natural light in the center of the pavilion. This area also serves as a solar chimney for the hot air. The building covers an area of 19,000 square feet

The interior is as modern as the interior. However, the warm wood finishes create a more friendly and inviting look while also softening the cold modern lines. The visitor center was designed to meet and even exceed LEED Platinum status. Moreover, the building also wants to respond to the Living Building Challenge with the most stringent measurements of sustainability in the built environment.

In order to do that, the architects opted for a large green roof that reduces heating and cooling requirements. They also decided to use on-site, renewable sources in order to achieve net-zero energy. There’s a photovoltaic system on the roof that generates electricity and a biomass boiler that provides hot water. The building achieves carbon neutrality, uses filtered rainwater and 100% of the blackwater is treated on-site in a bio-reactor. It was indeed an impressive project.

Published by in Architecture, on March 24th, 2012


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