The Weeksville Heritage Center is the only institution in New York State teaching post-enslavement African American history. The Center’s dominant feature is a landscape that depicts the open agricultural fields and small landholdings of 19th c. Kings County, and the path of the original Hunterfly Road. The centerpieces of the Heritage Center’s collection, the Hunterfly Road Houses, were restored in 2006. EKLA PLLC's simple design for the surrounding site transports the visitor to another time, and creates a spatial framework for interpreting Weeksville’s history.
Stormwater management played a key role in the landscape design. A series of berms and swales planted with native woodland trees, shrubs, ferns and other ground covers separate the contemporary and historic precincts and offset the landscape’s main visual characteristic: a large pasture of native grasses and clovers. The swales, pasture and a low boardwalk are configured to illustrate the 19th c. farm grid that was subsumed in Brooklyn’s urbanization.
• Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design 2014 American Architecture Award
• New York State AIA 2014 Award of Excellence
• New York State AIA 2014 Best in New York State Award
• Historic Districts Council 2014 Award for Design
• Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce 2014 Building Brooklyn Award for Civic Design
• MASterworks 2014 Award for Excellence in Design, Best New Building
• Architect Magazine 2013 Annual Design Review Citation
• National Organization of Minority Architects 2013 Honor Award
• Art Commission of the City of New York 2005 Award for Excellence in Design
The African Burial Ground National Monument commemorates an estimated 15,000 free and enslaved Africans who were interred in Lower Manhattan’s Negro Burial Ground, a site that once extended 6.6 acres beside the Collect Pond. The Monument, oriented to true north and east, occupies more than two-thirds of the 1/8-acre portion that now remains. EKLA PLLC worked with the Monument's Architect to resolve urban design issues of massing, circulation, and on-site/off-site connectivity, so that the interpretive scope of the monument could be fully realized.
Native shadblow (Amelanchier) trees, selected for their significance as early sources of food and subsistence, frame the view of the Monument from the Ted Weiss Federal Courthouse Building lobby. Honey locust trees cast very light shade as a backdrop to the Monument in its urban setting. Earth mounds within the
re-interment area were designed to become singularly irregular in shape over time, so that the area – reminiscent of the Collect Pond – will contrast with the manicured landscape immediately surrounding the monument’s three elements: the Ancestral Chamber, Circle of the Diaspora and sunken Libation Court.
National Organization of Minority Architects 2009 Design Excellence Honor Award
The Brooklyn Navy Yard looms large in New York City’s military and working class history. Today, the Navy Yard is home to over 200 businesses, including some of the city’s most innovative manufacturers, artists and non-profit organizations. In recent years the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) set the goal of becoming the greenest model of industrial facility redevelopment in the country. In addition to requiring the highest standards for responsible new construction, BNYDC also heavily invests in sustainable redevelopment of existing facilities.
As part of this effort, in 2011 EKLA PLLC first helped BNYDC secure a DEP Office of Green Infrastructure community grant to retrofit a 60,000-square-foot industrial roof for commercial agriculture, and designed an overburden system that retains 100 percent of the first inch of rainwater during storm events while supporting an acre of food production. The rooftop farm, managed by the Brooklyn Grange, yields 20,000 lbs. of salad greens, kale, basil, eggplant, cucumber and cherries annually, and hosts an apiary on the site, which yields 1,500 lbs. of honey per year. Its design now serves as a DEP OGI standard for retentive
• AIA Long Island Chapter 2013 ArchiAward for Excellence in Design
• AIA Long Island Chapter 2013 Award for Excellence in Sustainable Design, Commercial Project
• RoofPoint 2012 Design Award for Excellence in Water Management