Located in the heart of Cleveland's University Circle, the iconic glasshouse has become a regional landmark among Cleveland’s cultural institutions.
The project includes a reconfigured administration building, a new visitor center and a distinct immersion glasshouse.
The new entrance and reception area defines a new entry sequence. An elliptical lobby orients visitors and organizes circulation.
As the misting begins, visitors are transported into the cloud forest of the Costa Rica biome.
The educational immersion experience is carefully balanced with strict technical imperatives of maintaining and preserving rare plant and animal collections.
Native plants and a baobab tree surround lush plantings in the Madagascar biome.
Quarter-inch laminated safety glass is shingled in a traditional glasshouse construction.
The cafe offers views to the outdoor gardens.
The unified complex is an ever-changing urban escape.
At night, the envelope becomes highly transparent and offers a glimpse of the exotic natural world within the biomes.
Ground level plan
Second level plan
Lower level plan
Section looking south through the biomes and Clark Hall
Section looking north through the lobby
Section looking west through the biomes
The scupltural form of the glasshouse was inspired by the organic shape of granite.
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Cleveland Botanical Garden & Conservatory
Cleveland, Ohio
GUND Partnership’s extensive expansion and renovation plan began with the reconfiguration of building systems and amenities of the original 1960s-era Garden Center and the creation of a new front door into the natural world. There are three recognizable elements to the project: a reconfigured administration building, a new visitor center and a distinct immersion glasshouse. Each is articulated in a distinct palette of materials.

Located in the heart of Cleveland's University Circle, the iconic glasshouse has become a regional landmark among Cleveland’s cultural institutions. The unique shape of the glasshouse is generated from geometric forms of quartz crystal for the specific elements of the program. A variety of native plant and animal life provides a living classroom and an important educational component for the Gardens. The glasshouse is separated into two distinct biomes representing the butterfly-filled rainforest of Costa Rica and the desert geology of Madagascar.

Looking to traditional conservatory design methods, the light structure of the glasshouse utilizes lapped glass, rather than a heavy curtainwall system employed in most contemporary glasshouses. Its structure takes cues from natural geometric forms of quartz crystal, utilizing quadrilateral and triangular planes. Steel tube trusses are set in a regular module and spanned by a light and irregular system of custom aluminum extrusions, which allow for the traditional lapped glazing.

COMPLETION

2003

SIZE

97,000 SF Total
18,000 SF Glasshouse

PHOTOGRAPHY

Jeff Goldberg/ESTO
Jenny Jones

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