Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park Cafe and Viewing Platform


Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park occupies a unique site, characterized by its relatively small area located at the center of colossal surroundings. The main function of this public place—and the reason for its existence—is the privileged viewing of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor. The design of the park comprises three main components: a pair of allées that brings pedestrians towards the main park entrance; a pair of pavilions connected by a bridge constituting the main building; and a lawn terrace framed by continuous paths and benches. This “Y” shaped architectural ensemble is the backbone of the park, resting in gardens and fields of grass that connect to the Battery Park City Esplanade and to Battery Park. The building is conceived as a large, over-scaled, massive masonry wall split in the center, framing the view to the Statue. On the wall`s surfaces, a variety of brick patterns are displayed following a precise figurative symbolic strategy. This “lithic” formation is used to develop a pair of large public steps that seemingly prolong the allées and bring the public up to a pair of balconies overlooking the lawn and harbor. From the center of the bridge connecting the two balconies, the viewer`s direct relation to the Statue of Liberty is “face to face.”

Constructed, 1996


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