Monday, May 18, 2009

Revitalization at the VanDusen Botanical Gardens

Vancouver's VanDusen Botanical Gardens has been offering its visitors refuge from increasing urbanization for over 30 years. Internationally renowned sustainable landscape designer Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, in combination with Architecture firm Busby Perkins + Will, have been selected to provide an innovative and inspirational facility to ensure its success well into the future.


The building's five-petal roof will be partially covered with solar panels and green roofing.
The roof system will also collect and process rain water.

main entrance


Living Building Philosophy

At the heart of the Living Building concept is the belief that our society needs to move quickly to a state of balance between the natural and built environments – to define the highest measure of sustainability possible in the built environment based on current thinking.

The Living Building elements have been attained in many projects around the world – just not all together. It is hoped that VanDusen’s project will accomplish this.


It is understood that the buildings would cause no negative impact. The idea is to reverse the trend of land degradation and invite nature’s functions into a healthy interface with people and buildings.

A living building relies on current solar income. The building’s energy needs would be supplied by on-site renewable energy on a net annual basis


Those used will be safe, healthy and responsible for all species.

A Living Building is water independent. The plan is for 100 percent of VanDusen’s occupants’ water use to come from captured precipitation or reused water that is appropriately purified without the use of chemicals. Water would be cleaned using juncos, iris and carex grown in the garden.

Indoor Quality
Healthy for all people – the design will focus on the major conditions that must be present for a healthy interior environment to occur.

Beauty & Inspiration

A Living Building Tells a Story. As a society we are often surrounded by ugly and inhumane physical environments. This project will contain design features intended solely for human delight and the celebration of culture, spirit and place appropriate to the function of the building.

perspective main entrance

conceptual master plan for VanDusen Botanical Gardens

for more information please visit:

busby perkins + will
vandusen botanical gardens


  1. A beautiful design. Very sympathetic to the surroundings and I love the inspiration, you can't get much more fitting that that.

  2. Wow, that is going to be a beautiful building - I love how organic it is - those elevations are just magnificent!!!!