ClientQueens Botanical Garden
BKSK is currently working with long-term client, Queens Botanical Garden (QBG) on a new Education Building to replace and expand their current facility. The building will provide for QBG a new center for their educational programs which have contributed to a recent growth in overall visitor attendance.
The Education Building takes advantage of an overgrown and underused hillside. Adjacent to the Farm, directly opposite to the Parking Garden, and in proximity to the meadow, which is home to multiple public programs, this location will allow the building to be a resource for visitors, providing restrooms and information for the underserved portion of the Garden. The building design is realized as two “bars” – a classroom bar and a two-story reception, public program, and office bar – with a connective spine linking the two. The spine is an indoor-outdoor teaching space that blurs the distinction between building and landscape. The roof of the spine extends beyond to create a welcoming entrance. On temperate days, the building can fully open to the outside, allowing visitors to experience gardens which support biodiversity, manage storm water, and are host to research around the impact of climate change. The building was designed to be in dialog with the Visitor and Administration Center, complete by BKSK in 2007, while laying the groundwork for future projects on the western end of the site.
Our long relationship with QBG formed a deep knowledge of the campus, the educational agenda of the garden, and the community, which in turn offered access to all parties needed to reach consensus and streamlined our design process overall.
Public Design Commission, Annual Awards for Excellence in Public Design, 2023