Design

The chosen site for The Leaf and Canada's Diversity Gardens covers 35 acres in the south-east corner of Assiniboine Park and provides physical and figurative balance to the Park.

On the west side, visitors explore the animal kingdom at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. In the heart of the Park, they gather to celebrate, relax and play. And on the east side, they will be immersed in the life-sustaining world of plants.

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CANADA’S DIVERSITY GARDENS SITE PLAN

The Leaf will be an architecturally brilliant 6,000+ square metre facility featuring four distinct zones that transport visitors through entirely different climates and environments. Through the efficient use of earth ducts, a geo-thermal energy system, and an efficient passive ventilation system, The Leaf will be an energy efficient building of the highest caliber. Additional components of the green energy system include: 

  • ETFE (ethylene-tetra-fluoro-ethylene) roof material
  • Earth berms to maximize heat retention
  • Cistern to collect rain water and snow melt for irrigation
  • Maximized capture of light exposure

ETFE is a co-polymer resin that is extruded into a thin film. The plastic-like material is translucent, extremely light-weight, very durable and resistant to corrosion and is self-cleaning. ETFE does not degrade with exposure to UV light, atmospheric pollution, harsh chemicals or extreme temperatures. The material has withstood extensive testing within extreme environments, and is expected to have a 30-50 year life expectancy while requiring minimal maintenance. Despite its weight (1/100 the weight of glass) ETFE handles snow/wind loads very well. In sheet form, it can stretch three times its length without losing elasticity.

Project Team


Architecture 49 - Primary Architect
KPMB Architects - Design Architect
HTFC Planning and Design - Project Landscape Architect
Lord Cultural Resources - Interpretation and Visitor Experience Consultant 

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