We at VisualARQ like architecture integrated into nature. Now we take a step forward and get to architecture that emulates how nature works.
A plant is a living being that feeds on sun, water and soil nutrients. A building is a living being that, to be inhabited, requires light, water and materials from the environment. This mimesis reaches the maximum level at the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre in Vancouver. It's not just a matter of form, it’s the full cycle of sustainability. This is the first building in Canada that was designed under the parameters set for obtaining the maximum sustainable building certificate, the LEED Platinum (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) and intending to apply for the Living Building Challenge.
The Center was made by Perkins + Will studio, which was founded in 1935 in Chicago and today has more than 1,500 employees and 20 offices. In 2011, the studio was commissioned to breathe new life into a botanical garden which had been created in 1975, on the former grounds of a golf club.
The work, under the direction of architect Peter Busby, consisted of creating a new visitor center that would not only take administrative, commercial and educational activities, but would also represent the very essence of nature reflected in the garden. If the purpose of a botanical garden is the preservation of the species, the purpose of VanDusen Visitor Center should be to preserve another form of natural wealth: energy.