The Sequoia Centre at McCall Gardens

The Sequoia Centre at McCall Gardens


The Sequoia Centre at McCall Gardens was completed in the fall of 2016. The “Celebration of Life” facility was designed to create flexible spaces that allowed for intimate or large scale gatherings indoors or outdoors on the large patio or in the extensive gardens.  Key aspects to the projects success were the retention of a number of mature trees including several large Sequoias, design around an existing fish bearing stream, and seamless integration with the modern west coast building. Working closely with the client, architect, and sub-consultants an extensive stormwater management plan was developed for the site to capture and infiltrate all run-off from the building, hard landscape areas, and parking lot while accommodating a large existing Sequoia as an iconic feature of the main entry.

 McCall gardens is a family run business that spans 4 generations in Victoria.  The original gardens at the downtown facility had been planted and tended by the previous generations of the family.  During the design of the project it was important that the current generations of McCalls be intimately involved from the initial draft layout and planting design to inclusion on the nursery visit to select tree and shrub specimens.   As stewards of the new landscape we felt it important that the McCalls be involved in every step of the project, fully understand the requirements for restoration in the stream side protection area,  and be fully invested in the projects outcome.

The final design was based on a sequential series of moments that bring guests from the main parking area, with restored creek edge, into the facility past the iconic mature Sequoia. Once inside the main gathering space the building opens to the outdoor patio, flanked by a low seating wall and nestled into the hillside, from the patio a gently sloped “processional” trail leads to the Royal Oak Cemetery and burial plots. Planting design for the site focused on deer resilient species, native species, regionally adapted species, and plants with seasonal interest. When established the garden will display a wide assortment of blooms all year round from winter blooming witch hazels and heathers, to the profuse spring displays of rhododendrons, the sweet summer blooms of day lilies and annual hanging baskets, to the muted tones from the inflorescence of ornamental grasses in the fall.

Murdoch de Greeff Inc (MDI Design) was responsible for the landscape design at the Sequoia Centre.  As part of the MDI Design team Terence Radford was responsible for conceptual design, contract documents, construction documents and field services.  MDI collaborated with de Hoog and Kierulf Architects (Prime consultant), Westbrook, AME Group, AES Engineering, Gye and Associates and Cascadia Biological during the design and construction of the project.

For additional information on this project please visit the McCall Gardens website.