Brown University Herbarium

This renovation for Brown University’s Herbarium relocates it from the basement of Arnold Laboratories — a small space designated as “temporary” in 1987, to the second floor of the Bio-Med Center. The 1,600 sf space will be large enough to house the current collection, collections from across the campus, and from various conservation groups in Rhode Island, while maintaining space for future collections. The move will restore the herbarium to a place of active research and digitization of the specimens it houses.

The major design challenge for the Herbarium renovation was combining function with an architectural aesthetic that promotes public connectivity to one of the area’s oldest collection of preserved plant species; and doing so under a restricted budget. The program includes a preparation room for cleaning and disinfecting specimens; sorting and processing room for studying, cataloging and preserving specimens; conditioned collection room for housing relocated plant specimens; and administration support space.

Working closely with Brown University, LLB has been able to arrange the program spaces in a manner that would permit proper sequencing for prepping, studying, and collecting specimens without contamination from the outside environment while also providing visual connectivity to the public. This project is a prime example of LLB Architects’ ability to work closely with clients to provide an integrated design the combines function with architectural aesthetic.