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Temporary Visitor Center

Missouri Botanical Garden
A temporary visitor center unites function and design during a time of transition.
View of the ticket booth with biophilic design elements in the Missouri Botanical Garden Phase...
St. Louis, MO
13,500 GSF
December 2020

As the first phase of the complex, three-phased Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center project for the Missouri Botanical Garden, this temporary visitor center is constructed to replace the garden’s normal visitor center operation while considering economy, sense of place, flexibility, and sustainability.


The design of the temporary interior space is conceived as a volumetric insert, carved to accommodate programmatic functions including ticketing, gift shops, educational outreach, restrooms, dining, and more. Upon completion of the permanent Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center, the volumetric insert will be removed and the remaining pavilion-like structure will be reconfigured into a permanent event center.

Designed with sustainability in mind, materials chosen for the temporary visitor center are cost-effective and, often, reusable. A plan was established early for the reuse, repurpose, and recycling of many phase one fixtures, materials, and equipment that would be dismantled after the visitor center operations move into the final building.


Simple, authentic materials organize the space while birch plywood and botanical inspired colors and graphics add interest, texture, and vibrancy. Intentionally placed color blocks, stencils, and applied graphics serve dual purpose as biophilic elements while also providing essential wayfinding for visitors.



IIDA Southwest Design Excellence for a Single Space
Tao + Lee Associates, local architect
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