Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri


When you take a step back in time to 1859, amid the industrial clamor, there was a man who saw something beyond. Henry Shaw was a successful businessperson with a vision to create something remarkable: a botanical garden. Over a century and a half later, the Missouri Botanical Garden is yet a testament to Shaw’s dream. 

Now, it is a place of respite but also an important center for research, education, and conservation. Spread over an area of 79 acres, the garden is home to a collection of over 6.6 million specimens, making it one of the largest botanical collections in the world. 

The Missouri Botanical Garden has recently been enhanced with the addition of glowing lighting effects created in collaboration with St. Louis Lighting Group, Reed Burkett Lighting Design, and GVA Lighting Inc. GVA Lighting’s STR9 Color Changing provides the desired color intensity and uses a variety of beam angles for precise aiming along with INFINITY power for extra-long continuous runs, with a significant reduction of power supplies and minimal penetration into the building. 

The architect had the idea for a biophilic screen to create the feeling of walking under a tree canopy in the lobby. The lights in the atrium also help it to serve as a lantern or beacon for the entire garden. By adding GVA fixtures at the perimeter, the nighttime experience is enhanced, and events within the space can incorporate branding or corporate colors. 

At the beginning of this project, there were some issues. Possibly due to installation errors, fixtures were fried, but GVA provided new ones and fully supported the project until it was working. The install is effective, and the low-profile cross-section was a plus. GVA was responsive to feedback from the field, easy to work with. The product is flexible, inspires and empowers by providing a vast opportunity for creative utilization, enhanced by scenes for seasonal events. 

Construction was phased, with the Jack C. Taylor Visitor’s Center opening in August of 2022 and the Bayer Event Center in Spring of 2023. 

For over 163 years, the Missouri Botanical Garden has been an oasis in the city, a place of beauty, family fun and discovery. It is proclaimed as a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Representative: St. Louis Lighting Group

Lighting Designer: Reed Burkett Lighting Design