VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, Canada

Green roof with grasses and atrium
project profile data
Area: ca. 20,000 sq. ft. (1,800 m²)
Completion: 2011
Architect/Design: Perkins + Will, Vancouver
Landscape Architect: Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Vancouver
System Build-ups: Floradrain® FD 40-E, Floraset® FS 75 and Georaster®, with 6–8 in. (150–200 mm) growing media Zincoblend
Project report

In 2011, the approximately 54 acres large VanDusen Botanical Garden, existing since the 1970s, was provided with a new representative visitor center in the size of approximately 20,000 sq. ft. (1,800 m²). The peculiarity of the design is the roof shape, imitating the leaves of an orchid flower. The flower stem is represented by the central atrium. The idea for this roof shape was developed by the famous landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, known for the perfect integration of her landscaping into the overall architectural concept. Due to the varying inclinations and curvatures of the roof surface three different systems were applied: on the flat areas a build-up based on Floradrain® FD 40-E, on the sloped roof areas a build-up with Floraset® FS 75 and on the steep roof areas a build-up with Georaster®.

  • Building with undulating roof and large glass front
    The building was inspired by natural forms, imitating an orchid flower.
  • Green roof with grasses and atrium
    The stem of the orchid flower is represented by the central atrium.
  • Undulating vegetated roof
    Due to varying slopes several kinds of ZinCo system build-ups were applied.
  • Georaster® elements are applied on the roof
    Georaster® elements were installed in the steep-pitched areas.
  • Bee on lilac flowers
    The beautifully flowering green roof attracts bees and other pollinating insects.
  • Undulating green roof and solar hot water tubes
    The building uses on-site renewable sources to achieve net-zero energy.