The curvilinear forms of the roof of the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre are sheathed in aluminum where not covered by an extensive green roof.
A conical skylight punches though the roof of the visitor center’s lobby, and serves as a solar chimney to generate airflow in the naturally ventilated space.
Outlined with a border of gravel to allow drainage, the green roof serves as its own ecosystem—playing host to a variety of plant species—and it dips down to grade level to allow access to local fauna.
Underneath the canopy, the roof plane is lined in wood beams and supported by wood-clad columns. The use of wood can contribute to the building’s goal of meeting the stringent Living Building Challenge because of the material’s sequestered carbon.
The lobby at the core of the visitors center provides a jumping off point where guests can enter into the gardens, or access the building’s amenities, which include a shop and café.