Back in June, The Observer marveled at a parking lot the city was rehabilitating on the Lower East Side. Yes, we marveled at a parking lot. That is because the city’s Public Design Excellence program was hard at work showing utilitarian structures need not be unsightly ones. And, lo, the pretty parking lot has struck again, this time in the Bronx, at the New York Botanical Garden.
The Observer discovered this project on lighting designer Leni Schwendinger’s Tumblr, of all places. She is creating a lighting scheme to bring the building to life at night, when its illuminating feature—vines climbing up and down the structure—will be less visible. It is a fitting feature given the building’s home. The parking lot is not so much for garden visitors but the driving public, whose parking fees will help fund the botanical gardens. The garage is located next to the local MetroNorth station, as well, helping feed mass transit.
This is not the first gritty infrastructure project for either firm. Ennead Architects made their name building structures like The Times‘ printing plant and the Purple Poo Eaters, as The Observer likes to think of the wastewater treatment plant in Greenpoint. And among her many public projects, Ms. Schwendinger did a dramatic lighting scheme at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.