The Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center, designed by Weiss/Manfredi Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism, is a sight to behold, and the subtlety of the center’s lighting reinforces its role as half city, half garden. At night, the sensuously serpentine visitor center glow, but during the day, it needs little electric light due to extensive daylighting. This was only possible because of advanced glass products. 

Distinct in its use of high-performing, ceramic frit-patterned insulated glass, the building uses Ecklet/St. Gobain glass with a ClimaCool SKN 072 low-E coating. Curved units are similarly composed by Precision glass, and the exterior canopy continues the ceramic frit-pattern lamination and allows for daylight to enter the interior while minimizing heat gain. 

Below is a brief overview of the project’s approach to lighting, natural and otherwise. Also, don’t miss our full story. All photos by Albert Večerka/Esto.

AV.Double Height Event Space_Lecture


Uplighting: Ceramic metal halide fixtures, manufactured by LSI, are attached to the steel columns in the event space to reflect soft ambient lighting off the leaf-shaped acoustic ceiling.

Downlighting: Also attached to the steel columns, these LSI-made surface mounted halogen fixtures with 100W lamps provide an additional lighting layer and are used to illuminate the inset wood floor, furniture, and people occupying the space. These lights are fully dimmable to set the mood, controlled by the Lutron Grafik Eye 3000.

Adjustable accents: Recessed Kurt Versen MR16 lights in the ceiling provide front lighting for special functions.

AV.Garden Gallery Atrium


Uplighting: Wall-mounted MH asymmetric forward-throw uplights, manufactured by Elliptipar, are controlled by an astronomical time clock provided by Douglas Controls to create ambient lighting for the space.

Tracklights: Ceiling-mounted recessed, flangeless, two-circuit track lighting with accent ceramic MH track heads, manufactured by LSI, provides accent lighting for exhibits and occupants.

AV.Staircase to Upper Level Garden Terrace 2

3. monumental Stair

Modified Bega B8032LED and B8031LED exterior recessed LED steplights are mounted in concrete and ornamental steel risers and provide warm white lighting at night.

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Visitor Center

4. outdoor Plazas & Pathways

Compact, 9W, fluorescent steplights are mounted into the finished concrete wall and moderated by an astronomical time clock on relay zone. Arklight VaporProof AVB-21 surface mounted vapor-tight lights with screw base self-ballasted CFL lamps and opal glass diffusers are mounted to steel bollards.

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Visitor Center

5. Tree Groves

CMH adjustable accent lighting, from BK Lighting, are mounted using the PowerPipe II stake system that hides the integral magnetic ballast in the ground while causing minimal disturbance to nearby tree roots.

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