DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN
Envisioned as a place dedicated to “help children and families enjoy the beauty of the desert – and care for it,” the new 3,500 square foot education center for Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden is an integral part of the master plan for the future Children & Family Garden. The interactive learning center integrates key themes around plants, nature, and science by fostering the education, research, exhibition, and conservation of desert plants, and provides an immersive environment for children that encourages exploration and discovery. Classroom spaces invite natural light inside and frame views to the grand desert buttes beyond. Reflecting the garden’s geological context, rooms are crafted of rammed earth walls that seamlessly nestle the building within its surrounding desert landscape. A rainwater collection system celebrates water’s precious and vital role in the desert, directing rainwater to a cistern where it irrigates a nearby wildflower meadow filled with vibrant desert blooms.
As the architectural designer at Lake|Flato Architects for this project, our design team, led by landscape architects at Didier Design Studio, facilitated a series of collaborative workshops in Phoenix with the Desert Botanical Garden board/education staff and the Natural Learning Initiative.
Lake|Flato Architects and Didier Design Studio