The sustainable, resource-conserving buildings of the Central Complex welcome visitors when they arrive at the Wildflower Center. But that’s not all: These beautiful spaces — flanked and draped with native plants — house amenities; provide opportunities for education, shopping, respite and refreshment; and include popular areas for weddings, events and conferences.
The buildings and courtyard of the Central Complex opened in 1995 and were designed by Overland Partners. The landscapes and gardens were designed by J. Robert Anderson, FASLA (principal), Eleanor McKinney (EMLA) and Darrel Morrison (FASLA).
What You’ll See
Just as native plants evoke a sense of place, the buildings in the Central Complex express the early architecture of Central Texas.
- Sandstone archways, aqueducts and the Observation Tower reflect the history of Spanish colonial times.
- Buildings made of cut limestone reflect the tidy, sturdy buildings German immigrants built in the mid- to late-19th century.
- Structures built with convenient, ready-made corrugated tin reflect a regional vernacular that grew from the modernization of ranching and farming in the early 20th century.
The Wildflower Center is a national leader in the sustainable construction, installation and maintenance of its landscapes and buildings. We are committed to creating beautiful gardens and landscapes that are also ecologically functional and conserve resources.
So, the Center is more than “just a pretty place.” We showcase the beauty of native plants, but equally important, one of our goals is to create landscapes that provide environmental benefits. In fact, the we led the development of the SITES® landscape rating system in collaboration with the U.S. Botanic Garden and the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Some notable sustainable features:
- 100% native plant gardens
- 65,000-gallon rainwater harvesting system
- Efficient, "smart," low flow landscape irrigation system
- Use of local materials, harvested on site and nearby
- Solar arrays for power generation