Arboretum at Flagstaff Research and Conservation Center

Arboretum at Flagstaff Research and Conservation Center


Flagstaff, Arizona

Nestled in the pines, sited away from the public gardens of the Arboretum at Flagstaff, the Research and Conservation Complex is dedicated to the study of sustainability on the Colorado Plateau. The building design incorporates many environmental conservation ideas such as daylighting, water harvesting, and photovoltaics.

The complex is arranged to encourage scientific discovery through collaborative efforts. Scientists meet for discourse in a large daylit space between the botanical laboratory and offices. Research greenhouses are organized along an internal spine, allowing work to continue during inclement weather.

Within the lower branch zone of the forest, the building quietly fits its site. The strongly-sloped, south-facing roof provides a substantial area for thin-film photovoltaics, as well as facilitating water harvesting to feed cisterns below the greenhouses. Furthermore, placing windows high on the north opens views to the tree canopies and allows light to penetrate deep over research offices into other interior spaces.

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