Based on our outstanding portfolio of design for botanical gardens, Christner was selected to design a new Visitor and Education Center for Lauritzen Gardens. Designed to harmonize with the surrounding landscape, the building combines traditional themes with a strong craftsman-style influence. We paired a gabled slate roof with stucco walls and stone paving. Large skylights flood sunlight into the floral display hall, which doubles as a café.
Size: 34,000 sf
Status: Completed 2001
Awards: 2003 Honor Award, Great Plains Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects
Associate Architect: HDR, Inc.
Visitors are immediately integrated into the natural surroundings of the garden upon entering the 350-car parking lot. Bioswales and a native prairie landscape guide them to the visitors center and the gardens beyond.
The design is based on simple, pitched-roof building forms, punctuated by the vertical thrust of the floral display hall. We clad the exterior in cement and stucco, and blended slate with clear glass into the roof.
The greater Omaha community has embraced Lauritzen Gardens. Garden clubs and walking groups enjoy the grounds, outdoor concerts are held in the summer, and the education center offers a variety of horticultural programs for adults and children.
We designed the Visitor Center to accommodate small and large events, attracting visitors from around the region. The floral display hall with its 30 foot vaulted glass ceiling doubles as a café in the summer.