Revitalizing Olmsted Center / BKSK

Revitalizing Olmsted Center / BKSK
© Raimund Koch
© Raimund Koch
Offices  · 
Bronx, United States
  • architects Authors of this architecture project BKSK

© Raimund Koch © Raimund Koch © Raimund Koch © Raimund Koch + 12

  • Civil Engineer/Stormwater Management consultant

    Sherwood Design Engineers
  • Landscape Architect

    Judith Heintz with Wallace, Roberts & Todd (WRT)
  • Structural Engineer

    Weidlinger Associates
  • M/E/P

    Buro Happold
  • Exterior Wall consultant

    James Gainfort Consulting Architects
  • LEED Commissioning

  • Lighting Design

    Horton Lees Brogden
  • Construction Administration

    NYC Department of Design & Construction
© Raimund Koch
© Raimund Koch

Text description provided by the architects. At Olmsted Center, home of the Capital Projects Division of the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, Phase I of an exciting two-part renovation and expansion is now complete.  Designed by New York-based BKSK Architects, the 60,000 square foot project responds to growing flooding concerns while also commemorating the site’s civic legacy and 50th anniversary.

Floor Plan
Floor Plan

Located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, Olmsted Center originally served as the Administration Building for the 1964/65 World’s Fair before being converted into Parks Department offices. The current renovation and expansion preserves the site’s legacy as a home base for stewards of public recreation, education, and overall enjoyment, while also providing today’s Parks Department with additional space. Notably, the location is four feet below the FEMA-defined 100-year floodplain, resulting in the site’s submersion during Hurricane Sandy and catalyzing the project team’s robust approach to resiliency. When Phase II is complete, a network of water features will further the project’s extensive flood control strategies, while also conveying the beauty and power of water. Key features will include wetland retention areas and a raised water channel system. Partially due to these water management approaches, the project is on track for LEED Gold certification.

While staff members have been on site throughout Phase I construction, ensuring business continuity, they moved into their completed 10,000 square foot addition in August 2014. The exterior and interior architecture, both designed by BKSK Architects, provide a unified expression that features abundant daylight and park views as well as distinctive exposed steel, honoring the original structure’s design. The addition houses new offices, a public procurement/bidding room, and meeting rooms. Phase II will focus on the exterior restoration of the original structure, the continuation of flood management strategies, and additional landscape improvements.

© Raimund Koch
© Raimund Koch

The renovation and expansion of Olmsted Center is one of many projects by BKSK Architects that supports and celebrates the collective future of New York City, both culturally and environmentally. Other completed projects in Flushing include two interactive parks for the New York Hall of Science and the LEED Platinum-certified Queens Botanical Garden. 

Site Plan
Site Plan

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Project location

Address: Parks Department, 156th, Bronx, NY 10455, United States

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Revitalizing Olmsted Center / BKSK" 21 Nov 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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