Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center – Landscape Plan

 Back to Projects list

This visionary visitor center, designed by Weiss/Manfredi Architects, emerges as an extension of the Garden’s prominent ridge where building and landscape seamlessly merge. 

The site design approach is organized around a series of water collecting and bio-infiltration basins and rain gardens designed to alternatively avoid the need for underground detention tanks that would feed into the municipal sewer system.   A new topography sculpts the garden’s ridge with gentle flowing swales that absorb storm water run-off while giving shape to exterior event and social spaces.  A new landscape typology mimics a riparian plant community of trees, shrubs and forbs, withstanding and thriving within a range of moisture fluctuations.  At the center’s entry plaza, a Sourgum grove hosts a rain garden that spatially frames the garden’s entry sequences while providing comfort and botanic interest.  Rain gardens, woodland bio-infiltration garden features, and a “shallow intense” green roof meadow are woven together to create a visually legible contextual landscape framework for the visitor center.  These new landscape features emerge as a new pedagogical tool to help visitors understand the value of riparian plant life and their ecological role.

Other Projects by HM White

St. George Waterfront and Ballpark
Staten Island
Pierpont Morgan Library
New York
WCS Center for Global Conservation
Berkson Residence
Lipson Residence
Stockman Residence