John Janzen Nature Centre


Edmonton, Alberta

About This Project

Nestled in the heart of the river valley, the John Janzen Nature Centre offers programs, events, exhibits and information to encourage awareness and understanding of nature in an urban setting.

The design of the addition with its large areas of glass is intended to merge inside and outside spaces so that the experience of man in nature is enhanced.

High windows allow light from the brightest portion of the sky to penetrate deep into the gallery space and are oriented so that the external landscaped area, in particular the adjacent wetlands, can be experienced as fully as possible.

The internal interactive display space is intended to enhance this relationship, with a large tree against this same glazing wall being a centerpiece to the demonstration gallery area, which includes a beaver pond, a large hollow mushroom and underground tunnels each with embedded displays to encourage discovery and learning.

The green roof incorporated into the design, while offering certain technical advantages such as helping to extend the life of the roof membrane, demonstrates other uses from mitigating storm water runoff, to providing habitat for birds and insects, and includes herb gardens for food and seasonal flowerbeds.