Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn, New York

The site is located on and around a series of abandoned piers just south of the Brooklyn Bridge. It offers spectacular views of lower Manhattan and an alternative to the density of the urban environment. The Brooklyn Queens Expressway, however, creates some major disadvantages including an excess of vehicular noise and the segregation of the waterfront from adjacent neighbourhoods. This project focuses on creating a rich recreational environment on the waterfront area surrounding pier 5, while rehabilitating nearby Furman Street from a vehicular thruway into a walkable and vibrant part of the city.

Human Scale
The massive industrial area of Pier 5 presents the challenge of establishing smaller-scaled areas amenable to sitting, viewing, and conversing. Niches and protected seating are strategically placed to take advantage of views while promoting a sense of security. In areas quiet enough for comfortable conversation, talkscapes are created by angling seats toward each other. Reflecting pools bring the impressive city skyline into the site while helping to obscure noise from the nearby expressway.

The design capitalized on one of the sites most valuable asset; its openness. Views are maintained by avoiding the use of large structural elements. As one enters the park, urban density gives way to expansiveness.

Pedestrian Edges
The site encourages pedestrians to wander along the water’s edge both day and night. Custom railings with embedded lighting borrow an Art Deco theme from details along the park near Pier One.

Furman Street
Construction of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway in the 1950s disconnected Furman Street from the adjacent neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights. The street became a neglected high-speed thruway with a narrow sidewalk bordered by a long line of warehouses. Crime, traffic, and noise contributed to the undesirability of the area. The planned demolition of one of the last two buildings on this street offers a rare opportunity to widen and revitalize Furman; weaving it back into the tapestry of downtown Brooklyn and creating a critical link between the major park entrances near piers 1 and 6. A row of new buildings will serve as a permeable edge to Brooklyn Bridge Park and will provide significant attenuation of the noise from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Model constructed in AutoCAD and 3D Studio Max. Rendered with Mental Ray and Photoshop.