Van Straelen building | Weber's plans


Van Straelen building
Weber's plans



The Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS), officially inaugurated in 1964, had a workshop, a few laboratories, the director's house, and a dock. However, it had no large space in which to hold workshops or courses, or in which to provide biodiversity- and conservation-related contents to early visitors and tourists.

Van Straelen building | Weber's plans

The need for such a space materialized in a project: the creation of a conference center that would serve as an exhibition hall and a museum at the same time.

In December 1968, Swiss botanist Daniel Weber ―who was then working on the islands studying the local orchids, and happened to be an architect as well― produced a series of plans for the needed space.

Van Straelen building | Weber's plans

In Weber's designs, preserved in the CDF Archives, the building already had the star-shaped silhouette it has today (a combination of two superimposed squares, one of them rotated 45°) and was located in its present location.

Van Straelen building | Weber's plans

In addition, Weber's plans are among the few that show the original distribution of the CDRS buildings a few years after their inauguration. It is curious to note that the small house next to the Station Beach ("Mrs. Hornemann Summer House") was already built.


Weber, Daniel. [Proposed Lecture Centre & Museum]. [Plan]. Santa Cruz : Daniel Weber, 1968. [N.d.] : b/w ill. : [s.d.]. DDC 986. Well preserved

  Subject categories: History of CDF
  Keywords: Plans
  Time framework: 1968


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Publication date: 1 October 2023
Last update: 1 October 2023