DBG | Ahearn Desert Conservation Laboratory

The Ahearn Desert Conservation Laboratory is part of the Phase II master plan at the Desert Botanical Garden. The lab rests behind the gabion wall constructed in Phase I and is an herbarium for desert plants, a lab for soil ecology research and a workshop for seed preservation efforts.

The architecture features biophillic design principals with the exterior of the lab's use of a vented air-gap that dramatically reduces heat transfer, ensuring the interior temperatures are consistent and maintained year-round. Exterior panels near the entryway are laser-cut with a pattern inspired by the skeletal remains of the prickly pear cactus.

To minimize waste, wood salvaged from the Garden's campus was used as window details. Additionally, the lab features five large cisterns to collect and provide rainwater to the surrounding landscape.





sq ft








Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Arizona



180 Degrees Design + Build coLAB Studio

180 Degrees Design + Build


Austin Trautman

©2020 180 Degrees Design + Build