Situated on a plateau next to the garden knoll, the welcome center was constructed where several garden pathways meet. Built flush with the hillside, the center’s first floor has a terrace that meets the land, acting as a natural entranceway for incoming visitors. Outside of this entrance, a bio-swale was installed, which filters storm water from the adjacent parking lot from the upper campus. The bio-swale, which occupies a historic glacier path, also helps protect the gardens from excessive storm water.
The first floor also employs passive cooling, siphoning the cool air that gathers in the knoll, and distributing it throughout the interior. Motorized vents and skylights help to circulate the natural cool air around both floors of the center. Largely made from recycled and local materials, the emphasis on efficiency can be seen throughout.
The second floor of the center is used for events, classes and lectures, and includes a flexible multipurpose space. The exterior is covered with a wooden louver system, which helps control solar gain, while blocking direct sunlight from the interior. On the roof, solar thermal panelsgather enough heat to satisfy 80% of its needs.
High efficiency water fixtures, recycling programs and natural lighting and cooling help make align the garden welcome center with the program’s teachings.
+ Baird Sampson Neuert Architects
Via Arch Daily