National Arboretum Conservatory

Under contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, architrave worked closely with two unique clients to create this specialized conservatory for display and research of the nation's premier collection of Bonsai plants. We designed the facility to the specifications of the National Bonsai Foundation, which funded its construction. We then provided contract administration services during construction to the U.S. National Arboretum, which operates the National Bonsai Museum.

The conservatory program includes a pavilion for public display of the Museum's collection and a climatically separate glasshouse for bonsai research and care by the resident horticulture staff. A redwood frame suspended in the display area echoes overhead wood structures elsewhere in the museum, and neatly supports an array of lighting, watering, and climate control equipment. Our use of standard commercial greenhouse components reduced costs and simplified assembly.

The conservatory design also required and received approval by the National Capital Planning Commission.