Using the latest technology for energy efficient buildings, the new W. Flaccus and Ruth B. Stifel Center at Adkins Arboretum will promote the Arboretum's conservation mission while improving its educational facilities. The building will be a model for sustainable design using materials that involve low energy, low maintenance, and low emissions and internal control systems that reduce and manage energy usage.
The architect, Lake/Flato Architects of San Antonio, Texas, is nationally known for environmentally sensitive designs and use of indigenous materials. Their work is based on the idea that every structure must be integrated with the land and climate--the structure and its natural surroundings are partners. Lake/Flato received AIA's award as Firm of the Year for 2004.
The site work, designed by the award-winning landscape architecture firm of Michael Van Valkenburg Associates of New York City and Cambridge, Mass., will reconfigure the Arboretum's entrance, adding bio-retention techniques for storm water management within a native plant landscaping design. The Arboretum's existing impervious parking lot will be removed and replaced with a wildflower meadow and events green. A new pervious parking lot will be located closer to the Arboretum entrance, providing a walkway and handicap access to the new Arboretum Center through meadows and gardens.