Freshkills Park Blog

Governor’s Island Master Plan released

Through an agreement with the State, the City of New York now has sole custody of  Governor’s Island and has released its park and public space master plan for the $220 million redevelopment of the 172-acre site.  The tantalizing plan has been prepared by Dutch urban design and landscape architecture firm West 8 in partnership with Rogers Marvel Architects, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, SMWM and Urban Design+ and features a 2.2 mile waterfront promenade, picnic and event lawns, a grove of trees hung with hammocks, man-made marshes and steep, artificial hills that will help to create dramatic overlooks and vistas of lower Manhattan.  Also part of the plan are two large-scale development sites for which a deal has not yet been announced (a satellite campus for NYU is one rumored possibility).  The City has committed $41.5 million of the $220 million park and public space development price tag thus far.  The first phase of construction is expected to begin in 2012.

275,000 people visited Governor’s Island last summer alone, even in advance of park development.  This is going to be a hugely popular destination.

April 13, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , , | Leave a comment

South Park design public presentation tonight!

We’re very excited to present our most recent phase of design work, in South Park, tonight at the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island.  The Freshkills Park development team and park designers from James Corner Field Operations will be there to virtually guide the gathered crowd the first phase of South Park, which will host softball fields, hiking and biking paths, play areas, a parking lot and flexible event spaces. This phase will also be the first project allowing public access to the top of one of the mounds—the smaller of the two mounds in South Park—with its amazing views of Staten Island and the larger region.  It’s a really dynamic and interesting design that’s responded to a host of needs and requests from the local communities and still holds strong to the ideals of the 2006 Freshkills Park Draft Master Plan.  Hope you can come and check it out tonight!

Wednesday, April 7th, 7-9pm
at the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island
Joan & Alan Bernikow Building
1466 Manor Road, Staten Island NY

April 7, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , | Leave a comment

Sherbourne Park, another water treatment hybrid

As part of its waterfront redevelopment plan, multi-governmental agency Waterfront Toronto is currently in construction of Sherbourne Park, a $28 million storm water treatment facility and public park, near the Lake Ontario shore.  Much of the water treatment infrastructure will be visible to park visitors, making more transparent the purification process through features like an ultraviolet treatment pavilion, dramatic channelizing sculptures and biofiltration beds.

The facility’s design has been led by planning, urban design and landscape architecture firm Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg and illustrates, like Freshkills Park, the increased level of collaboration that is becoming more common around large infrastructure projects between engineers, landscape architects and planners.

There are two park sites in New York City that are also sited atop water filtration plants, though neither showcase water filtration quite as prominently:  Riverbank State Park sits atop a wastewater treatment facility, and the in-construction Croton Water Filtration Plant in the Bronx’s Van Cordlant Park sites a golf course and green roof atop a drinking water filtration facility.

(via The Dirt)

March 31, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Adapting NYC to sea level rise, now at MoMA

Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront opens today at the MoMA.  The exhibit features architectural proposals transforming New York City’s harbor and coastline in response to sea level rise.  Last fall’s architects-in-residence program at P.S.1 brought together five interdisciplinary teams to produce plans, models, drawings and analytical models that now make up the show.

Urban Omnibus offers an in-depth preview and primer on project focal points: industrial development that creates new marine habitat on the Kill Van Kull; oyster reef restoration on the Gowanus Bay and Buttermilk Channel; a partially submerged residential development in the Narrows; park expansion onto piers at Liberty State Park; carefully stratefied tower construction at the southern tip of Manhattan.

The show runs through October 11th.

March 24, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Times Square design competition call for proposals

Now that the City of New York has decided to make the pedestrian plazas in Times Square permanent, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), in partnership with the Times Square Alliance, has issued a Request for Proposals for conceptual designs of short-term “refreshes” of the plazas.  The alternate designs, once implemented, are expected to be operational for eight months, beginning in mid-July.  Proposal submission deadline is April 16th.

The competition is taking place in tandem with a separate design process for a permanent reconstruction project, to begin in 2012 in partnership with the Department of Design and Construction and under the umbrella of the Mayor’s Greenlight for Midtown program.

(via Urban Omnibus)

March 15, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , , | Leave a comment

New awards program for park design

The National Park Service has launched the Designing the Parks Annual Awards Program, aimed at honoring “the role and significance of public parks in community life and the importance of innovative, responsive, high quality planning and design.”  Awards appear to be purely honorary but intended to boost awareness of and support for the NPS’s key principles of park design:

  • Reverence for place
  • Engagement of all people
  • Expansion beyond traditional boundaries
  • Advancement of sustainability
  • Informed decision making
  • An integrated research, planning, design, and review process

The call for submissions is open to built and publicly open parks throughout the world, administered by all levels of government.  The guidelines also note that entries “must illustrate innovative and sensitive strategies applied toward resource preservation, energy conservation, sustainability, contextual design and mitigation of climate change.”  The deadline for submissions is April 30th.

(via The Dirt)

March 10, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , , | Leave a comment

Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 4 design

Pier 4 concept rendering by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation has released plans for Pier 4, one of six piers along Brooklyn’s northern waterfront that will be incorporated into the in-development Brooklyn Bridge Park.  The Pier 4 site, like the rest of the 85-acre park, has been designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. The plan includes reclaiming part of the deteriorated railroad infrastructure currently occupying the Pier 4 site as a public walkway, and another part as an island wildlife sanctuary.  The project is slated for construction in summer 2012 and is expected to be complete the next year.

Pier 1 was expected to open by the beginning of 2010 but is now anticipated later in the year, along with Pier 6.  Much of the rest of the park’s development still awaits funding.

February 18, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , , | Leave a comment

James Corner Field Operations to design the Beltline

Photo of the existing Beltline by Our Green Atlanta, via flickr.

James Corner Field Operations (FO) and Perkins+Will have been selected as the lead designers of the Atlanta Beltline, a 22-mile loop of parkland, trails and light rail to encircle the core of the city and revitalize derelict rail easements.  The $2.8 billion Beltline project purports to create and connect to over 1200 acres of parkland, underwrite the remediation of several brownfields, construct 5,600 affordable housing units and create 30,000 new full-time jobs over its 25-year course of development.  This is a huge project knitting together open spaces, transit, bridges, tunnels and historic preservation sites; the two firms will manage 19 others in the development of a comprehensive master plan.  FO, of course, has experience mapping out ecological rescue missions for undervalued urban spaces, the High Line and Freshkills Park both featuring prominently in their portfolio.

This is also not the only southeastern megaproject being designed by FO; it is also currently at work on a master plan for a comprehensive upgrade of Shelby Farms Park in Memphis.  At 4,500 acres of wetlands, fields and forests, Shelby Farms is one of the country’s largest urban parks.  Not unlike Freshkills Park, the proposed plan will incorporate new entrances, pathways and facilities, including renewable energy and plant nurseries, to amplify existing trails and infrastructure.

(via Creative Loafing)

February 16, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , | Leave a comment

Current landscape and waterfront exhibits

Superstudio's "The Continuous Monument: On the Rocky Coast" (1969), on view at the MoMA.

A couple of exciting exhibitions and projects featuring the built and natural environments are currently underway at the MoMA and P.S.1.  The MoMA exhibition, “In Situ: Architecture and Landscape”, opened last April and will be running through February 22nd.  A small but succinct show, it’s worth visiting.

P.S.1’s recent program “Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront” included a studio residency for Architecture Research Office (ARO), which developed designs for “adaptive ‘soft’ infrastructures” to address rising tidewaters in New York and New Jersey, taking into account the needs of both the metropolis and the coastline ecology.  An exhibit of models, drawings and analytical materials produced during the residency will be opening at the MoMA March 24th.  In the meantime, the Rising Currents Blog continues to offer interesting reflections on the intersections of urban and hydrological systems.

February 5, 2010 Posted by | events, FKP, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Northala Fields Park

When we first caught sight of London’s Northala Fields Park, which opened in May 2008, the similarity in topography to Fresh Kills set off instant recognition–this is filled land.  The park’s construction included the creation of four man-made hills filled with construction debris from local projects including the redevelopment of Wembley Stadium and the construction of a nearby shopping center.  Transport of this waste to the Northala site saved considerable money over its export to a remote landfill, and the corresponding £6 million went to supporting park development.  Almost everything on the site is recycled from the original construction sites–paths, piers, soil.  The tallest mound stands 84 feet high.

The design is by London-based Form Associates.  Landscape-gawking blog Vulgare has put together a handsome collection of photos of the site scoured from various online sources.

February 3, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , , | 1 Comment