The National Wildflower Centre as a Symbol of Nature and Mathematics
The basic geometry and spatial logic of the proposed building is inspired by a simple Mathematical principle found in Nature: the Fibonacci spiral. The building consists of two variations of the Fibonacci spiral. The inner spiral houses public programs such as a conference room, classrooms, and a community room, all encased in a glass skin and covered by a pebble roof. The outer spiral contains operational programs including seed processing rooms and pot plant storage space.
The continuous spiral configuration optimizes the functions of National Wildflower Centre complex by promoting integration between the existing brick buildings and the 150-meter long visiting center; providing users with a continuous work flow and enriching visitors` outdoor/indoor experience as they stroll the pebbled roof ramp. The adjacency of the operational spiral and the public spiral also reinforces the educational functions of the complex. Gardeners and visitors will observe one another as they travel the parallel paths along the thickened wall system.
Sustainable skin system
The outer spiral features a sustainable wildflower screen. The screen is a self-standing structure comprised of an array of small-scale tetra shaped pot holding hoops. The double-skinned screen enhances the buildings energy-saving performance through features such as seasonal daylight control by varying pot arrangement, water irrigation systems, and living machines. The entire operational area becomes a greenhouse enclosed in a glass skin and PV panels. The screen also acts as a vertical display adding an organic texture to the building by arranging seasonal wildflowers along the exterior skin.
The future of the National Wildflower Centre Complex
Located at the gateway to Liverpool, the National Wildflower Centre complex is expected to go through further developments of its surroundings. Proposed developments include a retrofit of the parkland to incorporate a geo-thermal system to enhance the centre`s climate control as well as a renovation of the existing outdoor garden to feature the same basic geometric rules of the new addition. Such developments will help further establish the National Wildflower Centre`s role as a cradle for natural preservation and public education.
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