The conservatory was built thanks largely to a $1.25 million donation through the Bloedel Foundation from lumber magnate Prentice Bloedel and his wife Virginia, and smaller amounts from the city and provincial governments. Mayor Tom Campbell officiated, joined by Mr. and Mrs. Bloedel and Bill Livingstone, the Vancouver parks board assistant superintendent “responsible for the main creative inspiration.”
This is Canada’s largest single-structure conservatory. Its domed design is based on the geodesic principle, which utilizes a structural space-frame to support the roof, enabling a large interior volume to be enclosed without the need for internal supporting columns. The Conservatory dome consists of 2,324 pieces of 12.5 cm (5 in.) diameter extruded aluminum tubing and 1,490 triodetic plexiglass “bubbles.” The bubbles were designed by Thorson and Thorson, structural engineers. [Source: Vancouver History
The Bloedel Conservatory is open for the holidays from 4:30pm to 9:00pm (closed December 25th). Rates and other details can be found online.
Other Vancouver Icons posts include: Centennial Rocket, Canada Place, Old Courthouse/Vancouver Art Gallery, Dominion Building, Science World, Gastown Steam Clock, SFU Burnaby, Commodore Lanes, Siwash Rock, Kitsilano Pool, White Rock Pier, Main Post Office, Planetarium Building, Lord Stanley Statue, Vancouver Library Central Branch, Victory Square, Digital Orca, The Crab Sculpture, Girl in Wetsuit, The Sun Tower, The Hotel Vancouver, The Gassy Jack Statue, The Marine Building, and The Angel of Victory. Should you have a suggestion for the Vancouver Icons series please feel free to leave a note in the comments. It should be a thing, statue, or place that is very visible and recognizable to the public.