OHNY staffers, Jessica and Renee were able to take part in a special guided tour back in November of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Center for Global Conservation as well as the Lion House at the Bronx Zoo. FXFOWLE Architects and WCS generously provided this tour as part of OHNY’s Annual Spring Benefit and Auction this past May. We’d also like to thank OHNY supporter and volunteer Mary Farrell for bidding and winning this OHNY experience!

Sylvia Smith (left) talking about WCS’ Center for Global Conservation

Sylvia Smith, Senior Partner at FXFOWLE Architects (the firm behind the design for both buildings) and Sue Chin Vice President of Planning and Design & Chief Architect at WCS were our chief experts and guides. First stop was the WCS Center for Global Conservation.

Completed in 2009, this LEED-certified Gold, three-story building serves as the headquarters for WCS’s international programs as well as the administrative offices and scientific research that occurs within the Bronx Zoo. As Sylvia and Sue explained, the natural wooded landscape and its elements of nearby rock outcroppings and topography played a large part in the design of the building.

administrative and research offices

Walking inside the Conservation Center we could see how many of the interior meeting and gathering spaces also featured exterior extensions encouraging employees to eat lunch or even conduct meetings outdoors.

The facility also includes an intensive green roof that includes an 18-inch layer of local grasses and shrubs that help to regulate the temperature of the building.

Our second stop was to the Bronx Zoo Lion House. This designated landmarked Beaux-arts building was closed to visitors in the late 1970s when the lions were relocated to more spacious environments. The reconstruction of the Lion House was completed in 2008 and transformed the open-air cages into natural environs for the flora and fauna all native to Madagascar.

The “green” features of the building include a greywater recycling system and geothermal wells incorporating both FXFOWLE and WCS’s missions of practicing environmental sustainability.

We had an awesome time learning and hearing about the challenges and design concepts for each building to fit the needs and specifications of the WCS.

Afterward, we got the chance to spend the day and explore other parts of the Zoo.

Our thanks to Sylvia and Sue as well as a very special thanks to Brien McDaniel at FXOWLE for organizing this tour for us!

Bronx Zoo
2300 Southern Boulevard

1 Comment to Field Trip Friday: The Bronx Zoo

  1. January 9, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Jessica and Renee,

    We were thrilled to organize the tour, and happy for such a great turnout (and beautiful day). Let’s plan another one!

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