Brooklyn’s Green Jewel: The Botanic Garden Visitor Center by Weiss/Manfredi
Walking through Brooklyn, you are surrounded by the unparalleled metropolis that is New York and would hardly suspect an oasis such as the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Enter, and you will leave the city streets behind to find discrete settings like the Japanese Garden, the Cherry Esplanade, the Osborne Garden and the Cranford Rose Garden, all of them visually separated from the neighbourhood by elevated berms and trees. To make this exquisite location more visible nonetheless, the New York architecture firm Weiss/Manfredi designed the Garden’s new visitor centre to be a green interface between garden and city, culture and cultivation.
The building is conceived as an inhabitable topography that defines a new threshold between the city and the constructed landscapes of the fifty-two-acre garden. Its serpentine form is generated by the garden’s existing pathways, some of which incorporate the Visitor Centre, sliding down from the top of the berm, framing views of the Japanese Garden and descending through a stepped ramp to the main level of the Garden.
Huddling to the berm with its northern side and with its green roof, the visitor centre seems to organically grow out of the surrounding Garden to finally unfold its curved glass walls in a light and open gesture of invitation to visitors and passers-by. An overture quite fitting for such a plentiful retreat in the bustling city.
Find out more about the Brooklyn Botanic Garden here: www.bbg.org
For more information on Weiss/Manfredi click www.weissmanfredi.com