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Queens Botanical Garden Visitor & Administration Center

BKSK Architects

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43-50 Main Street



Queens Botanical Garden


  • Weidlinger Associates
  • P.A. Collins
  • Viridian Energy & Environmental
  • Kugler Ning
  • Atelier Dreiseitl
  • Denis Gray Horticulture

Project Status


Year Completed


Certifications and Designations

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Project Description

The Queens Botanical Garden is a nexus of botanical and cultural exploration for the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in the United States, Queens County. The new Visitor & Administration Center is a built extension of the Garden’s mission: to demonstrate environmental stewardship while celebrating the cultural connections between people and plants. To that end, the Visitors’ Center is LEED® Platinum certified, a first for a public building in New York City. From the inception of the project, principles of sustainability led the design process. Water, a natural element significant to all cultures, is re-introduced throughout the site, unifying building and landscape.

The Center is composed of three interconnected spaces: a forecourt and dramatic roof canopy, a central reception and administration building clad in wood and glass, and an auditorium space tucked into the landscape itself, sheltered by a sloping green roof. Additional sustainable elements include solar panels, a geothermal system, graywater and stormwater management systems and extensive use of recycled and renewable materials.

Completed in 2011, the 117-vehicle “parking garden” is composed of a variety of paving materials including permeable pavers to allow infiltration of water and parking bays interrupted by planted bioswales that manage stormwater. Nearby is a new Horticulture & Maintenance building, fabricated of pre-manufactured corrugated metal siding, cedar siding and corrugated translucent panels that maximize daylight.
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