Anderson Japanese Gardens
Anderson Japanese Gardens was recently recognized as the best Japanese Gardens in North America by the journal of Japanese Gardening. It was also selected as one of Illinois’ 150 Great Places by the American institute of Architects. A new Visitor’s Center was needed that fit in this natural setting, served as a starting and ending point for garden tours and as facilities for the garden administrative staff. The Visitor’s Center, completed in 2007, serves as a community-gathering places for dining, meetings, and receptions as well.
The design of the 15,300 SF Visitor’s Center was purposely not intended to be a copy or duplication of traditional Japanese architecture, but rather a design interpretation that evokes the feel and flavor of traditional Japanese design that fits with the natural setting of the gardens. True traditional Japanese architecture constructed by Japanese craftsmen existing in the gardens (Tea House, Bridge, and Gateway) and great care was taken to not compete with these elements.
Utilizing construction systems and materials common to the Midwest, elements of traditional Japanese architectural design were incorporated into the design of the Visitor’s Center. On the exterior, a low sloping roof with long overhangs and copper roofing evoke Japanese forms. Stucco, wood panels, and wood trim were utilized on the exterior as well. Post and bean timber structure, traditional to Japanese Architecture, is expressed on both the exterior and throughout the interior.