Queens Botanical Garden Visitor and Administration Building
© Jeff Goldberg/Esto
Tour Time: 12:00
43-50 Main Street
The Visitor and Administration Center is the centerpiece of an ambitious capital improvement program for the Queens Botanical Garden, a New York City institution that leads the botanical garden industry in environmental stewardship. In keeping with their mission, the Visitor Center is the first publicly-funded building in the city to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The 16,000 sf building was conceived as a complement to the natural landscape — not an overt destination in itself, but a backdrop to the garden’s topography, flora, fauna, and daily/seasonal changes. The contrast between the natural and built environments and their potential to enrich each other is reflected throughout the building, from the building materials to the mechanical systems. The team’s nature-inspired design approach is most palpable in the moments where the environment takes center stage, for example through the experience of a rain-induced waterfall. The building’s educational and environmental impact becomes all the more valuable when considering the site’s history; just 50 years before, it was an ashen landscape, made famous by F. Scott Fitzgerald in “The Great Gatsby.”
Joan Krevlin, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C
Joan Krevlin is a Partner at BKSK Architects, an award-winning New York City-based firm founded in 1985. Her design work explores the relationship between institutional mission, form, and place, and she works closely with clients to shape a unique and unified vision for each project. Joan has been the partner-in-charge for many of BKSK’s signature civic and cultural projects, including the LEED Platinum-certified Queens Botanical Garden Visitor Center, the NYC Parks Department’s Olmsted Center, and the New York Hall of Science Teaching Park. She is an adjunct professor in the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Bronx Museum of the Arts.
Patty Kleinberg, former deputy director of the Queens Botanical Garden and its current Garden Educator, is intimately involved with the development of the Garden’s master plan and its showcasing of environmental practices. Under Patty’s leadership, the Garden has developed a range of curricula and educational programs that center on the site’s green features for thousands of schoolchildren and teachers. The Garden’s facilities and landscapes have also become valuable training tools outside of the classroom context, for organizations such as the Green Jobs Training Program. Before beginning her tenure at the Garden as a compost instructor, Patty was a meteorologist working for the State University of New York at Maritime College. She is responsible for implementing the highly successful NYC Master Composter Certification program and regularly trains professional landscapers as well as homeowners on organic lawn care.
Tour Guides: Joan Krevlin, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, Partner, BKSK Architects
Patty Kleinberg, Garden Educator, Queens Botanical Garden