Architek’s Green Roofs Celebrate the Beauty — and Sustainability — of Biophilia Azureproduction Sustainability & LEED

Architek’s Green Roofs Celebrate the Beauty — and Sustainability — of Biophilia

For the living architecture specialists, the integration of nature into the built environment serves high design — and human wellness.

From above, it resembles an orchid. At the heart of Vancouver’s VanDusen Botanical Garden, the sinuous visitor centre is a biophilic statement piece. As a gateway to the grounds, the building is an understated landmark — and a paragon of sustainable design. Designed by a team comprising Busby, Perkins + Will, along with Sharp and Diamond Landscape Architects and legendary landscape architect Cornelia Oberlander, the organically inspired structure is topped by a striking living roof, where a wealth of plantings transforms the building itself into an extension of the landscape, welcoming local fauna and promoting biodiversity.

The VanDusen Botanical Garden’s roofscape reflects both local topography and foliage. PHOTO: Nic Lehoux.

For design-build company Architek, who provided design-assist and installation supervision for the building’s complex green roof systems, the project exemplifies both expertise and ethos. At the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre and at sites across the country, the integration of greenery is used to create more sustainable natural environments, and spaces that enhance human livability and wellbeing through nature — and beauty. Alongside a rooftop photovoltaic system, the botanical garden’s resilient green roof meets Living Building Challenge standards. Hydroseeded with local grasses and native bulbs, the installation also features rainwater filtration — and requires no on-site irrigation.

A series of green roofs frame the iconic Vancouver House tower.

At the base of developer Westbank’s iconic Vancouver House tower, meanwhile, a cluster of sloped green roofs complement the neo-futurist form of Bjarke Ingels Group’s design. Architek worked closely with the design and development team, including PFS Studio Landscape Architects, to create a tranquil living landscape that serves a variety of birds, insects and pollinators, mitigates urban heat gain and reduces stormwater runoff — all while fostering a distinct sense of place. On a prominent sloped roofscape — which required a complex stainless-steel shear barrier system — that’s seen from the thousands of vehicles that navigate the Granville Bridge …


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