This design uses a new vision of sustainability to adaptively reuse an 11,508 m2 brownfield site near the Thousand Islands in Gananoque to actively generate positive new cultural, social, economic and environmental activity for the entire region.
The Biosphere Sustainability Centre includes exhibition and conference facilities, artisan studios, market retail, and office space. The building's programming is integral within its design, which demonstrates to the public how renewable energy technologies including earth, water, solar, wind and biomass can provide clean heating, cooling, electricity and waste management. Furthermore, the centre will serve as an education resource with a positive long-term impact on planning, living and working in the region, which is part of a UNESCO world heritage site.
The BSC design includes two green roofs with walk-out garden, a walk-through biowall that cleans and recycles the air, and sculptural sun shades alongside the building. The Centre's most striking feature is an atmospheric canopy that hovers above the building and performs multiple functions: it collects sunlight from solar panels, provides shade, reflects the surrounding landscape, and channels rainwater for collection at the corner of the building, where it also transforms into a spectacular icicle sculpture in the winter months.