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Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center

The Visitor Center provides a legible point of arrival and orientation, an interface between garden and city, culture and cultivation.

The Visitor Center for New York City's Brooklyn Botanic Garden is conceived as an inhabitable topography. To provoke curiosity and interest in the garden’s world-class collection, the building provides a legible point of arrival and orientation, an interface between garden and city, culture and cultivation.

The design of the Visitor Center is seen as a seamless extension of the landscape. Nested into an existing berm, the 22,000-square-foot building is experienced as a three-dimensional continuation of the garden path system, never seen in its entirety and framing a series of views into and through the garden.  

Sited at Washington Avenue, the Visitor Center was conceived as a cinematic threshold that unfolds from the city to the garden, through exhibition galleries to an event space that mediates the transition outdoors to a terraced patio, spilling into the garden beyond.

A sustainably rich structure, the Visitor Center redefines the physical and philosophical relationship between visitor and garden, introducing new connections between landscape and structure, exhibition and movement. Like the garden, the Visitor Center evolves over time. The building’s lush, curving green roof adopts four distinct identities, changing with the seasons. With its sustainable features, such as rain gardens, geothermal system, and native plantings, the Visitor Center is a showcase for environmental education.

S-shape roof concept sketch

Event space concept

The Visitor Center's green roof evolves over time, changing through the seasons.

Awards
Gold Design Award Design Summit [NYC]
AIA Honor Award, Winner AIA New York Chapter
Cultural Award Built by Women New York City
AIA Institute Honor Award AIA National
Empire Award in Engineering Excellence American Council of Engineering Companies New York
Diamond Award in Engineering Excellence American Council of Engineering Companies New York
Honor Award in Engineering Excellence National American Council of Engineering Companies
Honor Award ASLA
LEED Gold U.S. Green Building Council
International Architecture Award Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies
American Architecture Award, Winner Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies
Display Category, Finalist World Architecture Festival
AIA Design Award Citation AIA New York State
MASterworks Award: Best New Urban Amenity The Municipal Art Society of NY
Engineering Excellence Award, Nomination American Council of Engineering Companies
Honor Award, Landscape and Living Roof Category ASLA NY
Building Brooklyn Award: National Grid Award for Energy Efficiency Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
Building of the Year, Finalist World-Architects.com
A+ Awards: Landscape Parks Category, Finalist Architizer
Annual Design Review Award Architect Magazine
Green Good Design Award: Green Architecture, Winner Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies
Best Projects 2012 ENR New York
Brooklyn Botanical Garden Visitor Center Project, Winner Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Press
New Pathways Abitare Magazine
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center Arketipo
You're Welcome Landscape Architecture Magazine
The 2013 ASLA Professional Awards: General Design Landscape Architecture Magazine
Space: Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center Landscape Architecture Magazine
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Metals in Construction
Master List The Architect's Newspaper
Ground Folds C3, No. 340
Design/Architecture/Urbanism The Alpine Review, No. 1
WEISS/MANFREDI Creates What it Calls an 'Inhabitable Topography' at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center, Merging Structure into Garden and Vice Versa Blueprint
A Water-Wise Welcome Green Roofs and Rooftops Gardens
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center World Landscape Architecture
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Unveils Weiss/Manfredi-Designed Visitor Center Travel + Leisure
Spotlight: Weiss/Manfredi Architects 1st Dibs Introspective
New Ground in Brooklyn Garden Design
BBG Visitor Center Makes an Entrance The Architect's Newspaper
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center Featured on the Cover of Abitare
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center Wins 2014 AIA Institute Honor Award