Saturday, April 19, 2008

Queens Botanic Garden Tour

The whole studio went on a tour of the new Vistor's Center at the Queens Botanic Garden today - and man, we could not have chosen a nicer day for it. It is a really nice building - completed just back in Sept '07 by BKSK Architects - with a big rainwater collection system, a greenroof, solar panels, composting toilets, reclaimed wood siding, and whole bucket of other sustainability-widgets. The materials they used were beautiful, board-formed concrete and cedar siding on the East, exposed steel and concrete inside and cedar louvers over glass on the West bit.

We got a tour of the inside and then they brought us out to the greenroof which covers the auditorium. The roof uses a light-weight growing medium and drought resistant, low plantings. They don't do any watering of the roof at all - and experiment to see how the plants do on the substrate I guess.

Paul, Jason and I. I love the mix of Cedar and concrete - I'm not sold on the Zinc (?) shingles on the underside of the rainwater collection canopy. Not terrible though.

The greenroof over the auditorium.

After the tour we explored the gardens, it is a beautiful place - smaller than the Brooklyn Gardens, and it is still April after all so a lot of stuff has yet to even begin blooming, but the tulips, magnolias, cherrys and daffodils were out in force! It was so fantastic outside too that it was just nice to get out of the studio for a few hours and sit in the sun for a while. - Thats right . . . I'll be tan tomorrow :)

Megan and Margot - lovin' the outdoorsiness of it all.

The day's three winners as I gather it: Witchhazel, Japonica Rose and (we think) Wood Lily.

I think that a lot of evergreens are going to be important for the landscape plan so that even during the spring and fall everything looks full and inviting - I know there aren't any flowers or color with 'em - but still . . .

Hmm . . . I seem to like touching the plants in all these pictures, odd.

Good detective work there! Much better than just reaching up and sticking my finger in to see whats there.

Paul, Carrie, Jason, Tory, Ralphie and I.

It was a great tour - we went and had ourselves a little picnic ;) in Union Sq afterwards too - so it was quite the outdoorsy day - beautiful. But not exactly what you'd call 'super productive' - so its back to the 3d Model for the rest of the night. I was going to take the evening off, but after all the what-not today I can't really justify that. Greenhouse detail modeling for a bit I suppose. I'm trying to figure out the structure of the bit where it runs into the low-roof and there are just so many pieces all coming together that it is proving . . . umm . . . difficult -to say the least. We'll figure it out though.

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