Bellevue Botanical Garden Visitor Center

Location Bellevue, Washington
Design Principal Jim Olson
Principal Kevin Kudo-King

Since opening in 1992, Bellevue Botanical Garden has become one of the most visited public gardens in the Pacific Northwest. The design of the new visitor center defers to nature, blurring the boundaries between architecture and gardens while creating inspirational spaces for programs and expanded services.

The centerpiece of the improvements, which include new construction, renovation and site work, is a new 8,500 square foot visitor center complex that includes an outdoor covered orientation space, a gift shop, meeting rooms, office space and restrooms. A sheltering roof, fernery walls and small garden spaces unite nature with architecture, creating a flow between indoors and out. Multi-purpose classrooms and flexible meeting spaces are designed to meet the rising interest in all-ages education and accommodate a wide range of programming.

The scope also includes the renovation of an existing 2,300 square foot house that contains meeting rooms, a library and accessory spaces to the visitor center. The parking lot was also reconfigured to double the garden’s current capacity and provide safer pedestrian access to the visitor center complex. The project is LEED® Gold.

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