Lauritzen Gardens Horticulture Complex

Lauritzen Gardens Horticulture Complex Aerial view

Lauritzen Gardens Horticulture Complex

Leading Through Conservation, Education and Horticulture

As part of an expansion and masterplan design effort, Omaha’s Lauritzen Gardens engaged our design team to envision a new horticulture complex within their botanical gardens and to develop a plan for relocating the existing, dilapidated production greenhouses closer to the action of the gardens, where their proximity will aid the horticulture team.

Designed to blend in with the context of the back-gardens native prairie landscape, the new horticulture complex will help demonstrate the core values of the Lauritzen Gardens regarding education and conservation. The focal point of the complex, the new center will feature an education greenhouse, collections greenhouse, and visitor amenities — all centered around a public plaza that further promotes outdoor learning and activity. 

The design draws inspiration from traditional prairie sod-houses embedded into the earth.  The insulating properties of the surrounding ground, as well as selected use of green roofs will provide protection to the greenhouse programs from Nebraska’s hot summers and cold winters.  The rich materiality of reclaimed wood siding, weathered steel, and operable facades will connect to the plaza to create a strong indoor/outdoor connection to the gardens.

Conservation was a key component to the building design as well, with multiple strategies being planned to support a regenerative structure. For the production greenhouses, an earth tube system will use the earth’s stable temperature to both cool and heat the necessary fresh air entering the greenhouse bays.  A water reclamation system will capture runoff on the site and be used for irrigation. LED growing lights and green roofs will also contribute to an efficient and educational demonstration of green, passive design.  With these amenities added to their already impressive campus, the Lauritzen Gardens will continue to grow as a peer-leading horticultural center within the Great Plains region.

Lauritzen Gardens Horticulture Complex Aerial view

Omaha, NE
United States

6,000 sf (557 m²) Visitor Building; 12,000 sf (1115 m²) Production Greenhouses