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Green Ark, Meise Botanical Garden

Realisation of living collection of conservatories with visitors' pavilion and service building in the Meise Botanical Garden

Situated in a hilly area, the large conservatory in the Meise Botanical Garden is somewhat hidden and tucked away. The structure is situated in the heart of the garden, surrounded by trees, behind the leasehold and next to the service building. The conservatory houses a precious and extensive living plant collection with species from climate zones all over the world.

Part of the new conservatory will be open to the public and visitors to the botanical garden will learn more about the plants in a new visitor trail. The conservatory doubles in surface area and receives a new innovative addition: the Green Ark. This is an impressive multipurpose visitor pavilion that floats, as if inhabited, between the glass walls of the conservatory. The ark pavilion is a spatial structure surrounded by a roof surface that can be walked on, designed as an elevated vantage point over the greenhouses around it.

Beneath the roof surface is a darker space that looks to the light-rich conservatories. This particular environment has been developed both for exhibitions that delve deeper into the rich plant world and the importance of biodiversity and for the facilitation of seminars or workshops. From the pavilion there is a connection where you can look inside to the seed bank in the adjacent service centre.

  • client Agentschap Plantentuin Meise
  • location Meise
  • date 2016 - present
  • status in construction
  • icw TV NU architectuuratelier – ar-te Archipelago, expert construction of greenhouse: Frans Zwinkels
  • realisation Bouwbedrijf Van Poppel, Deforche Construct, Hertsens, Bosman Van Zaal
  • contractor Wood Industry De Keyser
  • engineering office stability: studiebureau Mouton cvba, techniques: studiebureau Sweco
  • team NU Sarah Callewaert, Tim Van Verdegem, Laura Béltran Gonzalez, Louise Vanderlinden, Zora Starcevic