The Brooklyn Botanic Garden was founded in 1910. Located on 52 acres, the garden features 14,000 kinds of plants and has more than 800,000 annual visitors.
The South Gardens project includes a new entry building, an outdoor food kiosk and renovation of event space located in the main building. The 1,350-sq-ft new structure includes restrooms and a ticket booth while the 285-sq-ft kiosk replaces the existing food tent near the Steinhardt Conservatory. The event space replaces an existing retail area that totals 2,800 sq ft.

One of the biggest challenges confronting the project team was that the site was partially situated over the zone of influence of a subway tunnel. In order to get below the zone of influence, the team was required to drill in large concrete caisson footings 25 ft below grade to ensure that there would be no damage to the existing subway system. 

The site was also surrounded by 100-year-old oak trees. The project team, led by ARO Architects, worked around this challenge by performing the steel erection program by hand rather than by utilizing a crane.

Other difficulties were faced due to use of custom hand-made bricks, unique patterns, special stainless steel details and special zinc standing seam panels. In order to ensure the quality of the project, a small, specialized crew was brought in to work on the project.
Work was completed in fourteen months.  

Brooklyn Botanic Garden – South Garden Project

Key Players

Owner/Developer Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Lead Design Firm Architecture Research Office (ARO)

General Contractor/Construction Manager E.W. Howell Co. LLC