Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center – Landscape Plan
- Landscape Architects
- HM White
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.