Van Dusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver

Green roof imitating the leaves of an orchid flower
project profile data
Area: ca. 1,800 m²
Completion: August 2011
Architect/Design: Perkins + Will, Vancouver
Landscape architects: Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Vancouver
System build-ups: Floradrain® FD 40-E, Floraset® FS 75 and Georaster® , with 150–200 mm System Substrate
Project report

In 2011, the approximately 22-hectares large VanDusen Botanical Garden, existing since the 1970s, was provided with a new representative visitor centre in the size of approximately 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 pitched 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. © Raymond Chan
  • 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.
  • Undulating green roof and solar hot water tubes
    The building uses on-site renewable sources to achieve net-zero energy.