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the oasis rooftop at
the dallas arboretum

Location: Dallas, Texas
Client: Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Society

The Dallas Arboretum is a beautiful, world-class cultural institution that serves an increasingly important role as an educational venue for the families and schoolchildren of the City and beyond.  Recognizing the need for an immersive, science-based children’s garden to fulfill this role, the Arboretum conducted a nation-wide search for a multi-disciplinary design team, for which MKW was selected as landscape architect.

The site selected for the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is located in the northern section of the overall Arboretum.  The site’s steep topography allowed for the Exploration Center building to be designed as an earth-sheltered structure, being tucked into the slope of the land.  Accordingly, the roof of the building became very accessible to the upper portion of the children’s garden and was visible from higher vantage points as well.  In fact, when viewing the roof of the Exploration Center from the entrance plaza, all that appears before you is a beautiful garden space, the Oasis.

In fact, the Oasis is a densely-planted and beautifully-paved green roof which provides a spectacular setting for views of the garden below and of White Rock Lake beyond.  A new, sculptural shade structure, mounded plant beds and moveable tables and chairs provide a wonderful location for Arboretum gatherings and events.  The shade structure also includes a low-water-usage misting system to provide a cooler environment on hot days.  The plantings on the roof support the exhibits there and feature nectar and pollen-rich plants to attract various pollinators in the area.  The Oasis provides even further sustainability to the overall project as it modifies thermal heat gain to the occupied space below.             

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