Founded in 1910, Brooklyn Botanic Garden is home to 10,000 plant species and contains several historic structures. An ambitious renovation to the south end of Brooklyn Botanic Garden will include a series of buildings and spaces designed by Architecture Research Office. The renovation project, led by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, will establish a new Children's Discovery Garden at the far south end of the 52-acre landscape.
A McKim, Mead, and White-designed arch marks the former entrance at Flatbush Avenue and Empire Boulevard on the far south side of the Garden. To reactivate this entrance and support new gardens nearby, ARO has designed a gateway building with admissions and comfort station facilities. The building has a long parallelogram form that holds the street corner alongside the arch to promote the Garden's presence. Its facade is made of handcrafted brick topped by a distinctive zinc roof.
Other parts of the project will support an expanded existing program within the center of the Garden. A new dining kiosk will modernize a cafeteria plaza between existing greenhouses. The renovation of a former bookstore will create a new event space.