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“We really think that we’re the backyard of Brooklyn,” says Scot Medbury, president of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, who hopes a new 20,000-square-foot building, which opened May 16, will make the institution more accessible to both borough residents and out-of-towners. As the structure boasts eye-catching features like a roof covered in 45,000 plants, a glass-encased leaf-shaped banquet room and an undulating hill-like shape, architects Marion Weiss and Michael A. Manfredi designed it to blend into the landscape. With a new gift shop, a meeting point for tours, exhibitions on native plants and vistas framing picturesque panoramas of the grounds, the center provides a portal from Brooklyn’s streets to this verdant escape.