8 500 SF
New Construction
Featured in: Catalogue – Spring 2000

The arboretum project was a competition entry for the McGill Arboretum at McGill’s rural campus in Ste. Anne de Bellevue. The single storey building incorporates offices, a library, a public café and laboratories. The design was completed in consortium with designer Colin Szasz.

Our scheme integrates the building with the site and utilizes the undulating landscape to shape and divide various functions of the building. The exterior walls of the central area are completely collapsible in warm weather so that the public and air can move freely through the building and landscape. This core area opens on to a natural amphitheatre in the rear.

The tree-like structural columns are reminiscent of the forest and keep the subject of study close at mind. Clerestory windows and mono-pitch roofs open to the north providing ample natural light throughout the visitor and research centre.

Green features include natural ventilation and daylighting, minimal mechanical systems, locally sourced materials, sustainably harvested wood products, minimal site disturbance, and finally an outreach program promoting environmental stewardship.

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