Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Steinhardt Conservatory & Palm House Restoration
Brooklyn, NY

85,000 sf • 7,900 sq m

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, is among the borough’s most treasured institutions. Its picturesque and finely scaled greenhouse core has been preserved and strengthened by Davis Brody Bond’s master plan for revitalized historic buildings and new spaces to exhibit the Garden’s world-famous collections. The first phase focused on the McKim, Mead & White-designed Palm House. Structural investigation determined that the wood frame of this soaring Victorian structure had decayed beyond rescue. In consultation with Davis Brody Bond, the Garden decided to reconstruct the Palm House as a signature event space and move its plant collections to new facilities. The rebuilt Palm House retains the architectural features of the original conservatory while upgrading the glazing systems and incorporating mechanical shades and feature lighting

Davis Brody Bond’s design for the Steinhardt Conservatory creates new exhibit greenhouses that extend the character of the Victorian buildings in a contemporary language. The conservatory is sited to reinforce the north-south axis of the main terrace and preserve the balance between buildings and gardens. Inside, a two-level solution provides extensive display space while maintaining an above-ground scale that is sympathetic to the existing glasshouses. Exhibition areas are connected below grade and appear in the landscape as a cluster of glass pavilions.