The NWC called for a facility to serve as a flower lab with greenhouses and growing facilities, exhibition, classroom, office, and research space. Our design blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior in order to create a fluid overall ecology of plants, soil, program, landscape, and environment. The sensitivity and the interconnectedness of these various ecologies are underscored by recent happenings: the declining population of honeybees and butterflies and the growing awareness of manufacturing material on native plant communities. Our design is nominally conditioned and passive in its energy status and an exemplar of sustainable and regenerative architecture. The building is “living lab,” providing a pedagogical environment to its occupants.
The form of the building is organically and naturally derived using various data points, each referencing a specific flower. Because each flower blooms and spreads at a different rate and time, these points grow into figures of varying size and shape. These figures compose the form of the building.
The fluidity of the building is echoed in the flow of the programs, for example the hallways are passageways for people, openings to light and sky, systems of ventilation, heating and cooling, and exhibition spaces. One can travel seamlessly from the entrance through a flower-lab, to a classroom, to the chapel, with the sense of being both in and out.