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VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre

Vancouver, British Columbia

Photo Credit: Sharp & Diamond Landscape Architecture Inc.


Initial Research by: Dicong Yang

Edited by: Samantha Miller & Nicole Brekelmans

Case study compiled in 2019



Project: VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre 

Type of Urban StrategySustainable Design 

Type of ProjectResearch Facility 

LocationVancouver, British Columbia

Date Designed/Planned: 2007

Construction Completed 2011

DesignerLandscape: Sharp & Diamond Landscape Architecture Inc. with Cornelia Hahn Oberlander

Architecture: Perkins + Will Canada 


Due to the wear of original buildings and the demand to upgrade the entrance, the new visitor centre and surrounding landscapes needed to be redesigned. The garden is operated by both the City of Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, and the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association (a non-profit organization). The two organizations have been working together for over forty years in hopes of making the VanDusen Botanical Garden cherished by Vancouver residents and visitors, as well as making it renowned internationally.


The VBGA was created in 1966 by a group of gardeners that were enthusiastic about creating a public garden built on the site of the former Shaughnessy Golf Course, and finally, the garden opened in 1975. 

 (VanDusen Botanical Garden, n.d.)


The golf course was one of the city’s first golf courses, previously owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway. The golf course was planned to be turned into a housing development, but a group of citizens reached out to the Vancouver Park Board to set aside 22 hectares of the site to be turned into a botanical garden.


The Botanical Garden is a 55-acre garden in the heart of Vancouver, housing over 7500 plant species from all over the year. The garden includes a multi-award winning LEED Platinum Visitor Centre, that was named the Most Sustainable Building of the Year in 2014. The design is intended to look like an orchid from above, with its organic lines that are inspired by nature and conservation. The mild Vancouver climate allows the garden to thrive at any time of the year. 

(City of Vancouver, n.d.)


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