Burden Welcome Center

This new Welcome Center will serve visitors to the adjacent Botanic Gardens, Rural Life Museum, LSU Agcenter and various other community and cultural destinations. Intended to provide visitors with a clear prelude to the many destinations dispersed throughout the 440-acre property in the heart of Louisiana’s capital city, the Center will similarly supply an overview of the rich history of the Burden family and the Burden property, one of the largest donations ever made to LSU and the surrounding community.


Baton Rouge, LA


9,320 SF


Carbo Landscape Architects Buquet & LeBlanc Inc Fox-Nesbit Engineering, LLC Asaaf, Simoneaux, Tauzin, & Associates, Inc


Cultural and Civic




2023 AIA New Orleans Merit Award for Unbuilt Architecture

In honoring this conception of the Center as a contemplative retreat to nature, the design team looked to create a liminal space that would provoke curiosity and excitement for the surrounding scenery while simultaneously providing a legible point of arrival and orientation. As such, the design of the center unfolds from the landscape—a welcome center not so much as sitting on the land but embedded in it.

A showcase for environmental education and a layered destination for events, art, recreation and renewal, the sustainably rich center will feature 3,000 SF of multi-purpose space, 1,000 SF of gallery space, an occupiable green roof, a small dining area and café, gift shop, visitor restrooms, and offices for botanic gardens administrative staff.