Purpose-designed HQ opens profession up to the public

Second-floor staff offices, with a model of the building's green roof. Photo: ASLA/Jim Richards

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has moved back into its home in Washington’s Chinatown neighbourhood following extensive renovation.

The new ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture showcases the work and ethos of the profession. Architect Gensler and landscape architect practice Oehme van Sweden have opened up the building to provide more public meeting, lecture and exhibition spaces.

Sustainability and wellbeing are key considerations in the new design and fit-out. A four-storey atrium now connects the first-floor welcome centre with the existing green roof, bringing natural light down through the building. Additional green spaces have been created via an outdoor patio, and a planted entrance canopy.

The green roof, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, was originally installed in 2006, since when its performance has been monitored for its ability to absorb and cleanse stormwater, cool temperatures and reduce the building’s energy use. In the new building, a Toro Sentinel system of soil moisture sensors has been added to control irrigation, while excess water is stored in a ground-floor cistern and used for the outdoor patio space.

Throughout, native species have been used with plants chosen to suit each microclimate and to minimise the need for additional water.

Find out more about the new ASLA Centre for Landscape Architecture.

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