The rolling mown field, and areas of wildflowers evoke the community’s agricultural origins. The old trail ‘Hunterfly Road’ disappears and reappears before the houses in a ‘ghost landscape’ extrapolated from old maps.
The landscape is the dominant element in the composition. This space creates a transitional distance between the historic houses and new center. Movement through the recreated farmland links the present to the past, between the now and the then.
In deference to the historic structures, the building is kept intentionally low, sited to protect the view of the old houses, while providing the broad portal gateway along the old Indian trail to the houses and long open views of the historic site through the transparent corridors.
The new building project is targeting a Gold rating under LEED 2.1. The new building's footprint occupies only about one-fifth of the project site, a rarity within the five boroughs of New York City, allowing the major portion of the site to become open green space.
Buried under this landscape are seven drywells, providing on-site percolation of storm water, and 48 geothermal wells drilled to a depth of 470 feet. The extensive closed-loop geothermal well field serves eleven water-to-air heat pump air handling units, considerably reducing the new building's reliance on fossil fuels for heating and cooling.
In keeping with the overall design intention to create an open, accessible community space, all interior spaces are flooded with daylight, providing a multiplicity of views of the historic site and the surrounding neighborhood.
Weeksville Heritage Center
Brooklyn, New York
Architect : Caples Jefferson Architects
Clients: David Burney, FAIA, NYC Department of Design & Construction; Victor Metoyer, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; Pamela Green, Weeksville Heritage Center
Construction Manager: Hill International
General Contractor: Brickens Construction
Structural Engineer: Severud Associates
MEP Engineer: Loring Consulting Engineers
Civil & Geotechnical Engineer: Langan Engineering
Geothermal Engineer: P.W. Grosser Consulting
Lighting Design: Berg-Howland Associates
Landscape Architect: Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architects
Cost Estimating: Faithful + Gould
Acoustics & Audio Visual: Shen Milsom + Wilke
Theatrical Lighting: Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design
Building Department: Metropolis
Specifications: Heller + Metzger PC
Curtainwall: Gordon Smith Corporation
Sustainable Design & Commissioning : Viridian
Security: Ducibella Venter & Santore
Museum Programming: Dial Associates