Talk in Baltimore Oct. 18: Creating Innovative Teaching Gardens, with Cooper Robertson’s Bruce Davis

Bruce Davis

With an increasing national focus on healthy eating and urban gardens, a few architects are helping cultural institutions engage with their communities through innovative, nutrition-oriented educational facilities. This trend is the subject of a talk on October 18th during a museum conference in Baltimore.

Led by architect Bruce Davis, AIA, LEED AP, the session will explore the story behind the Edible Academy, a state-of-the-art education campus designed by architecture firm Cooper Robertson for the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). Built to help teach children and adults alike about nutrition, gardening and sustainability, the new facility has been hailed as an “essential investment” by local leaders.

The talk will consider the range of education opportunities available through the Edible Academy, and how the buildings and landscape work to support them for schools, families and the public at large. Titled ”The Edible Academy: Innovations in Plant-Based Education,” the panel pairs education and project leaders from the New York Botanical Garden with the architect Davis to describe how the program works and how similar facilities — along with partnerships with local government and communities — can enable other cultural organizations to impact broader audiences.

“At a time of heightened national concern about childhood obesity as well as increasing access to fresh, affordable food in our cities, these kinds of dedicated teaching facilities offer an effective way for cultural organizations to help promote food education,” says Cooper Robertson’s Davis. “By delivering inventive, flexible spaces for gardening programs, classes, and outdoor events, the Edible Academy creates a strong platform and an innovative national model for addressing these 21st-century needs.

Panel discussion, “The Edible Academy: Innovations in Plant-Based Education” at the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums Annual Meeting

Bruce Davis, AIA, LEED AP, partner, Cooper Robertson
Ursula Hoskins, Vice President for Capital Projects, The New York Botanical Garden
Toby Adams, Director of the Edible Academy at The New York Botanical Garden

Thursday, October 18, from 9:15am – 10:30am

Embassy Suites by Hilton, Baltimore Inner Harbor 222 St. Paul Place, Baltimore

About Edible Academy

Cooper Robertson’s design for the Edible Academy creates a new teaching garden and educational facility at The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Located on the grounds of the existing Ruth Rea Howell Vegetable Garden, the $28 million state-of-the-art Edible Academy doubles the organization’s capacity for teaching children, adults, and educators serving up to 100,000 annually. Adding much-needed indoor learning areas in a 5,300-square-foot classroom building, along with a new teaching greenhouse and a 350-seat outdoor amphitheater to accommodate events, the Edible Academy also significantly expands The New York Botanical Garden’s ability to provide year-round programming and STEM education activities related to nutrition and health. Designed as a series of indoor-outdoor structures connected by expansive teaching gardens, the project highlights the beauty of its dramatic site adjacent to a steep, wooded gorge above the Bronx River. The LEED Gold-targeted new facilities also enhance educational opportunities through the many sustainable features of the Edible Academy buildings and landscaping, including elements like vegetated green roofs, composting toilets, and geothermal heating and cooling.

About Cooper Robertson

Recognized internationally for its successes in making thriving places, the award-winning design firm Cooper Robertson integrates architecture and urban design at many scales, from buildings to parks to city districts. Founded in 1979, the firm is led by a core group of diverse and accomplished professionals. Acclaimed works by the firm include large-scale urban redevelopments, major cultural and educational buildings, waterfront sustainability and resiliency plans, and exceptional residences and resorts. Visit