The University of Alberta Botanic Garden is a lush oasis made up of manicured gardens, mixed woodland vegetation and an extensive nature trail system. Owned and governed by the University of Alberta, the Garden's annual number of visitors has grown extensively in recent years, in part due to the addition of the Aga Khan Garden, a spectacular 11-acre Islamic-design inspired feature garden.

Visitors to the Botanic Garden are greeted at the new Welcome Centre, a charming and elegant pavilion made of wood. It contains ticket booths, a gift shop, a concession, restrooms, and importantly, a large outdoor canopy to accommodate functions.

The biomorphic form of the Welcome Centre and its canopy was drawn from a tree, just as its material was. It's shaped like a fallen leaf, which shades and shelters the building and its visitors. Greenwall cables were installed as a passive design element, in front of the South glazing of the building. As vines grow up the cables, they will provide shade during the summer months. When the leaves die in the winter, their absence will allow more heat from the sun to enter the building. The roof was parametrically modelled, using computer scripted software, to guide all the water that falls on it into a single location on the north side of the building. In a mild rain, water will run down a rain water leader, and drip down a rain chain, and in heavier rains, the water will shoot out of the spout at the end of the rain water leader. 


Scope: New Construction
Completion: 2020
Size (m2): 200
Location: Devon, Alberta