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Greenhouse wins award for sustainable design

The Global Flora Conservatory at Wellesley College already holds several design awards, including the 2021 Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner for Architecture + New Technology. After several years of planning and construction, it is nearly complete.

Designed by Boston-based Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Ltd., Global Flora Conservatory is a massive greenhouse and science center. It replaces the long-standing greenhouse erected 100 years ago under the guidance of Dr. Margaret Ferguson, a famed American botanist.

“Global Flora builds on the rich history of botanical education and research at Wellesley College established in the 1920s by Dr. Margaret Ferguson, who advocated for interdisciplinary botanical education as a Center for the College’s intellectual life,” said Kristina Jones, professor of botany and director of the Botanic Gardens at Wellesley College. “The new space will be an amazing platform for student engagement with nature and with the systems thinking that underpins progress in sustainability.”

The conservatory houses the college’s expansive and notable plant collection, including an iconic Durant Camellia tree, which is over 140 years old and memorialized in its own pavilion. In its final form, the building contours to accommodate the varying heights of the plants inside. The curved design is placed along the east to west sun path to take advantage of natural heating, cooling, ventilation, and light.

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