Architecture

Brooklyn Botanical Garden Visitor Center features a 10,000 square foot living roof

Brooklyn Botanical Garden Visi...
The new visitor center at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens officially opened its doors earlier this month and includes an impressive 10,000 square foot (929 square meter) living roof
The new visitor center at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens officially opened its doors earlier this month and includes an impressive 10,000 square foot (929 square meter) living roof
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Designed by the New York based architectural firm Weiss/Manfredi, the Visitor Center merges modern architecture with a landscape teeming with plant life
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Designed by the New York based architectural firm Weiss/Manfredi, the Visitor Center merges modern architecture with a landscape teeming with plant life
The new visitor center at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens was inaugurated with a ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor Bloomberg
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The new visitor center at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens was inaugurated with a ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor Bloomberg
Exhibition gallery at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden's Visitor Center
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Exhibition gallery at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden's Visitor Center
The new structure features a large glass building that has been embedded into an existing hill
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The new structure features a large glass building that has been embedded into an existing hill
The new visitor center at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens blends into its surrounding environment
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The new visitor center at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens blends into its surrounding environment
Fritted curved glass walls of the center offer visitors consistent views of the surrounding garden landscape
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Fritted curved glass walls of the center offer visitors consistent views of the surrounding garden landscape
The leaf-shaped living roof hosts over 40,000 plant types
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The leaf-shaped living roof hosts over 40,000 plant types
The Visitor Center incorporates a 10,000 square foot (929 square meter) living roof
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The Visitor Center incorporates a 10,000 square foot (929 square meter) living roof
The Center opens out into major garden precincts like the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden and Cherry Esplanade
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The Center opens out into major garden precincts like the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden and Cherry Esplanade
The fritted curved glass walls allows natural light to filter through the building
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The fritted curved glass walls allows natural light to filter through the building
Close to 60,000 plants have been installed around the building
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Close to 60,000 plants have been installed around the building
The Visitor Center incorporates numerous environmentally sustainable design features, including a geoexchange system heats and cools the interior spaces
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The Visitor Center incorporates numerous environmentally sustainable design features, including a geoexchange system heats and cools the interior spaces
The fritted aspect of the glass also hopes to help prevent birds from flying into the glass panels
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The fritted aspect of the glass also hopes to help prevent birds from flying into the glass panels
Dramatic floor-to-ceiling curved glass walls open out into the surrounding parkland and themed gardens
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Dramatic floor-to-ceiling curved glass walls open out into the surrounding parkland and themed gardens
The new Brooklyn Botanical Garden's Visitor Center street entrance
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The new Brooklyn Botanical Garden's Visitor Center street entrance
The new Brooklyn Botanical Garden's Visitor Center street entrance
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The new Brooklyn Botanical Garden's Visitor Center street entrance
Close to 60,000 plants have been installed around the building, seamlessly blending the visitor center into the green tapestry of the garden
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Close to 60,000 plants have been installed around the building, seamlessly blending the visitor center into the green tapestry of the garden
The new visitor center at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens officially opened its doors earlier this month and includes an impressive 10,000 square foot (929 square meter) living roof
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The new visitor center at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens officially opened its doors earlier this month and includes an impressive 10,000 square foot (929 square meter) living roof
The center merges modern architecture with an abundant landscape design that blends together Brooklyn’s urban and garden environments
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The center merges modern architecture with an abundant landscape design that blends together Brooklyn’s urban and garden environments
By building into a preexisting berm at the north end, the structure taps into the a geothermal energy source
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By building into a preexisting berm at the north end, the structure taps into the a geothermal energy source
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The new Visitor Center at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens officially opened its doors earlier this month and was inaugurated with a ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor Bloomberg. Designed by the New York based architectural firm Weiss/Manfredi, the center merges modern architecture with landscape design that blends together Brooklyn’s urban and garden environments.

“The Visitor Center is both an extension and elevation of the Garden’s topography, softening the transition from city to garden - and allowing us a significant new way to model how plants can fit into urban environments,” said Scot Medbury, president of the Gardens.

The impressive 10,000 square foot (929 square meter) garden roof is the center’s main attraction, and is the new home to over 40,000 plant types including bulbs, grasses and wildflower. But it doesn’t end there. A estimated 60,000 additional plants surround the building, too. This explosion of plant life combines with the landscape design to realize the architect’s vision of an urban oasis and a visitor center that is brimming with life. “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." said architects Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi.

The Visitor Center incorporates a 10,000 square foot (929 square meter) living roof
The Visitor Center incorporates a 10,000 square foot (929 square meter) living roof

The 20,000 square foot (1858 square meter) Visitor Center almost camouflages itself into the surrounding landscape, having being built into an existing hill. Inside the building, dramatic floor-to-ceiling curved glass walls open out into the surrounding parkland and themed gardens. Winding walkways guide visitors through the center while offering views of the external landscape and the sense of actually meandering through the gardens. The fritted glass walls allow natural light to filter through the building, while added vertical lines hopes to prevent birds from flying into the glass panels.

In addition to the expansive living roof landscape, the Visitor Center has incorporated a number of sustainable initiatives into its design, including a geothermal heating and cooling system. By building into a berm at the north end, the structure taps into the a geothermal energy source that increases the building’s thermal efficiency. This “geoexchange system” is primarily used to heat and cool the building’s interior. Furthermore a collection of gray water gardens surround the building which have been specifically designed to collect and filter runoff, aiding the center’s storm-water management system.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Visitor Center includes an orientation room, information lobby, gift shop, exhibition gallery, cafe, and an elliptical events space.

Sources: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Weiss/Manfredi

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1 comment
Paul Anthony
If you are ever in California, San Diego county, Borego Desert. There is a visitor center you can visit, and walk the garden roof similar to this. Ive been going there since 1990.