Wildlife Conservation Society

Location: Bronx, New York

Located amidst the breathtaking scenery, animal exhibits, and the Bronx Zoo Beaux-Arts architecture, WCS’s headquarters is set within an inspiring landscape design that demonstrates its mission of saving wildlife habitat preservation and environmental conservation values. HMWhite’s design draws upon the site’s rich mesophytic forest natural assets to fuse landscape and a state-of-the-art, eco-friendly building. The site design was fundamentally directed by a series of ecological regeneration strategies that stemmed from bio-engineering bases stormwater management and water quality mitigation principles. Constructed wetland and wet meadow gardens were developed to replace an open water channel as the Center’s landscape forecourt. These high performing landscape systems were introduced as a binding ecological system that defines the project’s landscape precinct and character. Site hydrology issues were solved by a bio-engineering stormwater management solution to vastly improve stomwater absorption and cleansing resiliency. As the anecdote to the site’s water channel, water volume and its flow rate was alternatively distributed though broad, shallow and meandering depressions designed as a coordinated network of tiered wetland gardens. Filtering and slowing down water flow through a reconceived topographic structure and a layered vegetated native habitat regenerates many of the site’s original ecological functions while fulfilling environmental and hydrologic municipal regulations. This design strategy yielded a myriad of benefits. By solving the impact of the new building on local and regional watershed functions through a landscape design based approach, site engineering and landscape budget allocations merged – rendering landscape improvements integral to the project’s infrastructure. A distinct, yet ecologically integrated, landscape precinct emerges and enables the melding the needs of WCS staff with the Zoo’s daily commercial functions.


Wildlife Conservation Society
FXFOWLE Architects

Design Team:

Landscape Architect: HMWhite
Architect: FXFOWLE Architects
Civil Engineer: Langan Environmental
Arborist: Urban Arborist
Soil Scientist: Pine & Swallow
Irrigation: WC3 Design


The Chicago Athenaeum: American Architecture Award

Architect Magazine, Annual Design Review
AIA New York State Award of Merit
Environmental Design + Construction- Best Institutional Building
MIPIM Award, Green Buildings (Finalist)

NYC Public Design Commission - Excellence in Design

Back to top ∧