This Addition of a ring of bathrooms to the historic conservatory of Longwood Gardens offered the opportunity to artfully interweave building and landscape, extending the tradition of this public garden. An arc of circulation, bounded by “living walls” and capped by a continuous skylight, provides access to bathroom pods that are grouped individually on the north side and clustered underground on the south. This south side then becomes the backdrop and retaining wall for a terraced landform that evokes the green amphitheaters of 18th century English country houses. The exchange of characters, with interior walls as gardens and exterior topography that is architectonic, raises the utilitarian program to the poetic.
The material palette is restrained- glass and steel operable skylights, cast in place concrete and Avondale stone, precast concrete bathroom finishes and reflecting pool, and a carefully designed and constructed green wall with integral irrigation and a drainage trough. The project takes advantage of existing onsite water management facilities to minimize environmental impacts.