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New York City Waterfront Park Celebrates Completion

Thursday, June 28, 2018

View of Overlook, wetlands, and pedestrian paths. Photo: Albert Vecerka/Esto, courtesy WEISS/MANFREDI

View of Overlook, wetlands, and pedestrian paths. Photo: Albert Vecerka/Esto, courtesy WEISS/MANFREDI



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NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett and NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver announce the opening of Hunter's Point South Waterfront Park Phase II. The park is a design collaboration between SWA/BALSLEY and WEISS/MANFREDI, with ARUP as the prime consultant and infrastructure designer. Spearheaded by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, on behalf of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, it presents a new model of urban ecology and a prototype for innovative sustainable design. The park is adjacent to the City's largest affordable housing development since the 1970s.

"It's a new kind of park," said lead landscape architect Tom Balsley of SWA/BALSLEY, as his 25-year vision for this waterfront is fulfilled. "Hunter's Point South is at once resilient infrastructure and contemplative retreat, with the power to touch so many people."

The park transforms 11 acres of abandoned industrial land in Long Island City, opposite Manhattan, anticipating the flooding patterns and rising water levels of the East River while leveraging its spectacular views to establish a recreational and cultural destination and environmental habitat. Extending Phase I, the site's paths unfurl into a promenade at the Park's southern terminus, leading to the Overlook, a 30-foot-high platform whose steel-clad formwork recalls the site's industrial legacy.

"For us, it has been a dream to be a part of a design team that created a waterfront park like no other," said Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, founders of WEISS/MANFREDI. "Hunter's Point South is equally a place of discovery, ecological resilience, and extraordinary drama with the Overlook that hovers above the water to frame the city's magical skyline."

The designers also sculpted an industrial peninsula to feel like an "island," surrounded by salt marsh. There, a land art installation, Luminescence by artist Nobuho Nagasawa, depicts the phases of the moon with glowing six-foot discs. Additional pathways lead through sculpted grasslands and a shaded picnic promontory embedded with wooden "rafts." Three fitness terraces offer views down the river to the bridges.

"Reforming disused areas of our densely populated city is part of our social responsibility as designers," said ARUP Principal Tom Kennedy. "The new Hunter's Point development provides the perfect opportunity to allow people to explore and enjoy the city's waterfront."

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