The Center for Global Conservation CGC is the world headquarters of the Wildlife Conservation Society WCS, an organization dedicated to protecting wildlife and wild places worldwide. Located on the campus of the Bronx Zoo in New York City, the new office building is the architectural embodiment of WCSs mission. Three mandates guided its design: To sensitively integrate the building with its site, to foster a greater sense of occupant well-being through strong connections to nature, and to do so with minimal energy and resource use. The project achieved LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Center weaves together ecological and built environments by blurring architectural boundaries. The building bridges two existing rock outcroppings and is nestled into a natural depression in the landscapeits rectangular form shaped to preserve significant trees and embrace the natural setting. An architectural promenade guides visitors and provides a constantly changing experience of the building and the surrounding landscape as they progress through the structure. A path leads through a wetland landscape to the buildings entrance, defined by a rock outcropping at the sites eastern edge. From a compact lobby, a staircase opens onto multi-functional, communal spaces conducive to collaboration. A transparent north-to-south through-view in the open office areas connects occupants with their surroundings. Exterior terraces extend meeting areas. A sloped green roof of native meadow grasses is the culmination of the promenade, returning the building user to the landscape.