The first Ivy League university to be part of the American College and University’s President’s Climate Commitment now has its first LEED platinum facility. The $13 million Horticulture Center at the University of Pennsylvania Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia, opened in October and is part of the last key component of the university’s 1977 master plan for a modern botanical garden. The 20,840-square-foot, multi-building Horticulture Center is situated at Bloomfield Farm, a 70-acre site within the larger Morris Arboretum.
The Horticulture Center serves arboretum staff and includes four separate facilities. The office building has work stations for 28, plus conference rooms and a staff lounge. A mechanic’s shop and garages are adjacent to the office building, and there are two carpentry shops. The Horticulture Center is an important demonstration project for sustainable features that will be adopted across the Penn campus as part of the university’s Climate Action Plan.
The Morris Arboretum is a 166-acre historic public garden and educational institution with winding paths and colorful gardens that include a formal rose garden, sculpture garden, Japanese garden, garden railway, and a 450-foot-long canopy walk that transports visitors 50 feet up into the treetops.
Overland Partners Architects (San Antonio, Texas) led the design team, which included local landscape architecture firm Andropogon Associates (Philadelphia) and m2 architects (Huntsville, Ala.).