Donald Danforth Plant Science Center Expansion Landscape
St. Louis, Missouri
The first phase of expansion on the Danforth 40-acre corporate campus is a 79,000 laboratory building addition to accommodate 100 additional researchers. The expansion supports the research center’s mission to “improve the human condition through plant science.” Its design interweave the landscape with the research space inside, resulting in a truly connected campus.
Planning for the long-range future of the site was integral to this first phase. The site design moves the main entrance from Warson Road to Olive Boulevard, adds additional parking and clarifies the pedestrian and vehicular circulation in support of an expanded array of facilities.
Sustainable strategies are imbedded in the design of the site including a 7 acre Tall Grass Prairie restoration, bioretention, porous paving, 2,000 sf roof garden, 100% native plantings. Over 3 acres of manicured turf was removed from the front of the center. This turf area is now part of the prairie habiitat where the Eastern Missouri Bee Keepers Association’s bees make their home.
The design team also renovated an existing chlorinated fountain into a water garden. This fountain retrofit significantly reduces the maintenance that had been required and avoid multiple 200 gallon water changes each year. The site with it’s prairie and water garden is a realignment of the landscape with the Danforth Center’s mission. Taken as a whole, the site restoration reinforces this new sensibility. of connecting the campus in more meaningful ways