New York Botanical Garden Edible Academy

New York Botanical Garden Edible Academy


Esteemed architecture firm Cooper Robertson was charged with designing the Edible Academy and created a beautiful campus that complements the surrounding landscape of our sunny perch along the eastern edge of the Thain Family Forest, directly above the Bronx River gorge, and adjacent to the new East Gate.

Toby Adams, Gregory Long Director of the Edible Academy

To meet a growing interest in urban edible gardening, particularly for New York City’s young learners, Cooper Robertson was commissioned to design an expansion to The New York Botanical Garden’s Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden. The new facility, called The Edible Academy, will expand programs for children as well as teachers, families, and adults into a year-round teaching center focusing on the fundamental relationships between plants, gardening, sustainability, nutrition, and health.

The Edible Academy will include a new 5,300 square foot classroom building and propagation greenhouse as well as expanded garden areas to serve up to 100,000 program participants annually. It is sited to highlight its magnificent setting with views down a steep wooded slope to the Bronx River. A terraced lawn amphitheater and two outdoor pavilions will provide flexible spaces for activities, cooking demonstrations, and outdoor events.

The heart of this project will be the classroom building. A LEED Gold-certified environmentally sustainable structure with cutting-edge technology, a green roof, porous pavements, and geothermal heating, the building will include two high-tech classrooms. Each classroom will be able to accommodate 25-30 adults or 32 children with adult chaperones and will offer year-round edible gardening programs and STEM education activities related to growing and cooking.



New York Botanical Garden

Bronx, New York
Site Area
60,400 square feet
Completion Date
Construction Cost
28 million
  • 2019 SARA New York Design Award of Honor
  • 2018 SARA National Design Award of Honor
  • 2018 Engineering News Record, New York Best Projects, Green Project Category
  • 2014 NYC Excellence in Design Award
  • Kohler Ronan MEP Engineering

  • Robert Silman Associates Structural Engineering

  • AKRF Environmental

  • Akustiks Acoustical / AV Consulting

  • Tillotson Design Associates Lighting Design

  • Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architecture

  • Vidaris Sustainability

  • C&G Partners Graphics and Signage

  • Clevenger Frable LaVallee Food Service

  • Stuart-Lynn Cost Estimating