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Weiss/Manfredi's Award-winning Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center Grand Opening With Mayor Bloomberg This Week

Weiss/Manfredi's Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center, a new gateway to the 52-acre Garden, opens to the public Wednesday, May 16th. A ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor Bloomberg will be held at the Garden at 9:30 a.m. The project has been recognized by the New York City Public Design Commission with an Award for Excellence in Design.

"Brooklyn Botanic Garden is an extraordinary oasis in the city and a living museum with a collection in constant flux," stated Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, principals at Weiss/Manfredi. "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 20,000-square-foot Visitor Center is conceived as a seamless extension of the Garden's path system, the sinuous glass building is embedded in an existing hillside at the Garden's northeast corner. Composed of two linked forms that seem to appear, disappear, and change shape as the visitor moves through and around them, the building offers a new sequence of views into and through the Garden. The new Visitor Center is anticipated to earn LEED Gold certification. The sinuous glass building includes a 10,000-square-foot living roof; interpretive exhibits; an orientation room for tour groups; a dramatic, leaf-shaped event space; and an expanded store offering garden-related products and plants.

The project has received reviews in:
The New York Times
New York Magazine
Architectural Record
The Wall Street Journal

May 14, 2012