Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center Garners AIA Honor Award02-11-14 | News
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center Garners AIA Honor Award

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center transitions from glass-walled architecture to a leaf-shaped green roof that is an extension of the garden's 52-acre landscape.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) Visitor Center, designed by New York–based multidisciplinary design practice Weiss/Manfredi, has won the 2014 American Institute of Architects' (AIA) Institute Honor Award for Architecture. The 20,000-square-foot Visitor Center was featured in LASN magazine in the October 2012 Green Issue.

The center opened in May 2012. It was designed as a key part of BBG's major renewal efforts and launched on the occasion of the garden's centennial. It has been called a dynamic synthesis of architecture and landscape design. The landscape architect for the project was HM White Site Architecture, NYC.

Weiss/Manfredi design partners Michael Manfredi and Marion Weiss explained their conception for the visitor center, which earned LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. "We envisioned the visitor center as a living interface that creates an invitation from the city into the garden, a demonstration of the compelling reciprocity between architecture and landscape. Just as the garden inspires wandering, we designed the center so that it is never seen in its entirety but is experienced cinematically as an unfolding place of discovery."

The visitor center transitions from a glass-walled architectural presence on Washington Avenue to a sinuous living roof that becomes an extension of BBG's 52-acre landscape. The leaf-shaped living roof hosts over 40,000 plants"?ugrasses, spring bulbs, and perennial wildflowers"?uadding a new experimental landscape to the garden's collection. The north side of the center was built into an existing berm, which increases thermal efficiency. The center's clerestory glazing and fritted glass on the south walls minimize heat gain and maximize natural illumination. A geoexchange system heats and cools the interior spaces, and a series of rain gardens collect and filter runoff to improve stormwater management.

Comment Form is loading comments...