Hunters Point South Waterfront Park


Surrounded by water on three sides, this post-industrial waterfront site is separated from Manhattan by the East River. Two hundred years ago the site was a series of wetlands. After years as an industrial hub and rail station, all signs of its ecologically rich history were eliminated. What remained was a contaminated brownfield with an irregular water`s edge, a steep bluff, and remnants of decaying piers juxtaposed against the spectacle of the Manhattan skyline. One of New York City`s most ambitious and complex developments in decades, Hunter`s Point South Waterfront Park aspires to be a transformative project. The park is well-connected to the adjacent neighborhood, to the East River Ferry, Long Island Railroad, two subway stations, Queens midtown tunnel, Pulaski Bridge, and CitiBike docks. By focusing on designing a park, streetscape, and infrastructural system that is innovative, flexible, and aspirational, the design weaves together new relationships between architecture, landscape and engineering to create places of retreat and recreation and ffer new connections with nature at the water`s edge. The design embraces these diverse historical identities and serves as a new model for waterfront resilience, with a “soft” approach to protecting the water`s edge from floodwaters. A continuous meandering causeway, elevated slightly above the river, offers a walk along the river`s edge and protects nearly an acre of newly-established wetlands with an expanded plant palette that enhances water quality and promotes wildlife and fish habitation. The design also leverages the site`s dramatic topography with a shaded grassy promontory, a new island reached by a pedestrian bridge, a kayak launch, exercise and picnic terraces, a collection of intimate “break-out” lounges off the pathways, and a dramatic cantilevered overlook that hovers 25 feet above the wetlands and offers panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline. To address the park`s irregular perimeter, the design team strategically located program elements and resilient infrastructure – often combined – to maximize both use and performance. For example, a new multi-use green oval and an adjacent canopy structure define the most generously open part of the site and serve as key pieces of resilient landscape infrastructure. The oval was designed to be inundated during flooding events and detains water which drains back to the river. This green is framed by a continuous path and pleated steel shade canopy on the south side which follows the curve of the oval and offers shelter for a ferry stop and concession building. The roof integrates photovoltaic panels on its south-facing pleats to power the pavilion and park lighting. These pleats also collect stormwater that channels through biofiltration subsoils, improving water quality and reducing flood risks. Richly planted bio-swales, filled with a diverse mix of native plantings and engineered soils, extend deep into the neighborhood along adjacent, perpendicular streets.

Competition, 2009
Redeveloped, 2018


Old - AIA National Award Old - Honor Award – ASLA NY Old - Honor Award – National ASLA
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