The new Lauritzen Gardens Conservatory creates a memorable visitor experience to encourage visits throughout the seasons. The conservatory consists of 10,000-square-feet for tropical plants and 5,000-square-feet for temperate plants. It enriches the region, allowing visitors to learn about and experience tropical environment otherwise difficult to find without traveling a great distance.
The conservatory is located to the west of the existing visitor's center and will be accessed through the visitor's center. Natural stone and stucco will be used to match the existing facilities. The conservatory will house two uniquely different display gardens. Both displays will include garden elements indicative to representative regions in the southeast United States. Plants include live oak, crepe myrtle, holly, azalea, cabbage palm, orchids, Victoria lilies and palm trees.
The design includes several water features, including a waterfall and a meandering path that climbs 20 feet in elevation. The paths eventually culminate at the entrance of the woodland trail located outside the conservatory on the side. It is carved into a hillside to allow for the dramatic elevation change in the paths on the interior.
The facility demands high moisture content on the interior at all times for proper plant survival. A proper drainage system and careful material selection are critical. Above all, the conservatory needs to function as an optimum plant growing environment.
- 2015 Honor Award, Built category - American Institute of Architecture (AIA) Nebraska chapter
- 2015 Merit Award, Architecture category - American Institute of Architecture (AIA) Central States Region