Center for Desert Living Trail

Categories
Botanical Gardens
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Size
.85 Acre
Status
Completed 2011
Client
Desert Botanical Garden

Center for Desert Living Trail

The Center for Desert Living Trail is a multidisciplinary garden that interweaves education, horticulture and fresh and dynamic display into the fabric of the Desert Botanical Garden. The design concept incorporates multiple, and sometimes competing, goals. For example, formality and flexibility; utilitarian spaces and strong design statements; intimacy and large events – combined make a great public garden space that actively engages the community – especially families and kids – in imagining, making, planting, harvesting, eating and discovering. The design considers the specific qualities and assets of the Sonoran desert context and the regional characteristics of the Phoenix basin.

The CDL strives to sharpen and refine the image of Arizona’s desert lifestyle: beyond mesquite, citrus and nopal to engage all that grows in Arizona and define its own cuisine, methods and products for gardening. Working in the spaces between existing buildings and site features, the design strengthens and clarifies existing character by adding unifying “formal” elements such as architectural planting and a series of shade structures and site furnishings to frame a garden of change and process. The design creates distinct spaces, some that are permanent and others that are laboratories of change, as well as spaces that are flexible for events and seasonal display.

Center for Desert Living Trail Secondary 1
Center for Desert Living Trail Secondary 2
Center for Desert Living Trail Secondary 3
Center for Desert Living Trail Secondary 4