Market & Building Type


About the Project

The Marylyn Blusson Learning Centre project included the construction of a new 50,000 square foot addition, as well as the seismic upgrade of the existing structure. The new addition, which replaced a portion of the existing two-storey building, which was demolished to make space on this very constrained site, consists of a four-storey cast-in-place concrete structure including two floors below grade.  Immediately adjacent to the remaining two-storey 1960’s facility, the construction of the new structure involved challenging underpinning work over much of its perimeter, adding further complexity to an already complex phasing exercise, as the existing facility had to remain open throughout construction.

The new centre houses an innovative gallery space featuring new animals and state-of-the-art interactive technology, an 1,800 sq. ft. multipurpose theatre, a hands-on teaching/public “wet lab”, two classrooms, an expanded children’s discovery play area (Clownfish Cove), an environmental newsroom, new technology to broadcast live presentations and operate distance education programs and office spaces for 80 to 90 people.

Designed to LEED Gold sustainable building practices it includes a unique in-slab seawater radiant heating and cooling system, as well as a rainwater harvesting collection and reuse system.  A living green wall will help insulate the building and use runoff water from the roof.

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

Architect: Stantec Architecture

Budget: $18.7 million

Completion: October 2006

Awards & Recognitions

first LEED Gold certified zoo/aquarium facility in North America

2009 SAB Canadian Green Building Awards Winner