Conservatory of Flowers

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Project Description

Preserving historic beauty with light — illumination fuses the past, present and future.

Built in 1878 and located in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco’s Conservatory of Flowers is one of North American’s oldest public wooden greenhouses. A series of storms forced its closure in December 1995. The restoration began in 1999 and the rehabilitation was completed in 2003.

HLB Lighting Design worked with Architectural Resources Group, the San Francisco Bureau of Architecture, and the non-profit group Friends of Recreation and Parks to develop a solution that met three design goals: illuminate interior pathways for evening use, showcase permanent and temporary interpretive exhibits, and provide new exterior illumination of a favorite San Francisco Landmark.

The challenge was to create minimal visual and physical impact on the historic structure while also avoiding disruption of diurnal cycles, this all within a limited budget funded with contributions.

Project Highlights

• Layers of illumination
• Every clear-glass panel was replaced


Architectural Resources Group


Project Background

• 12,000 square feet
• $25 million


Illumination Engineering Society (IES)
• Illumination Award of Merit

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