Client: Wellesley College
Text description provided by the architects. GLOBAL FLORA reimagines how the design of a sustainable greenhouse can enhance global interdisciplinary science education and deepen a public understanding of nature. The Global Flora botanical facility expands the 1920 vision of Dr. Margaret Ferguson who argued for plant biology as a central part of science education and encouraged students to “listen to” plants and learn through hands-on interdisciplinary experiences.
Global Flora houses a pre-eminent global plant collection in Dry and Tropical biomes. The iconic Durant Camellia tree, over 140 years old, is housed in a seasonal pavilion that connects with the new facility. Global Flora exceeds the Net Zero Water & Energy requirements of the Living Building Challenge, the world’s most rigorous certification of sustainable construction.
An open-source Interactive Sensor Platform allows people to gather and share real-time data from plants, soil, air, and water over multiple public digital media platforms. Global Flora is a free and public botany lab and ‘museum’ that emphasizes the importance of environmental stewardship to current and future generations on-site and online. Gathered data is accessible to public schools and international research universities, thereby strengthening the global knowledge-sharing platform.