Hunters Point Park, Phase 1

Hunters Point Park, Phase 1

Credit: Albert Vecerka


Category: Play
Award

Two hundred years ago, Hunter’s Point in Queens, N.Y., was no more than a swath of wetlands. But in the intervening years, the site’s proximity to the water and to rail lines made it a perfect spot for industry, and nature was crowded out by warehouses, factories, and the like. With industry on the wane, Thomas Balsley Associates and Weiss/Manfredi sought to return a 9.5-acre parcel along the East River to its natural roots, creating a new public park with recreational facilities, gardens, a dog run, and an esplanade connecting the facilities to the disused beachfront.

Central to the project is a multi-use oval, which serves as a landscaped play field for most of the year, but can also serve as an overflow area for storm surge on the flood-prone site. Adjacent to the oval, a curved pavilion with a bent-steel canopy houses Parks Department offices as well as restrooms and a café. The structure is designed to withstand uplift in case of flooding, and its roof directs rainwater into bioswales that manage stormwater onsite.

The jury was impressed by the project’s approach to both resilient design and urban planning. “It is modest, but I think it’s a very compelling project on many levels,” juror Sheila Kennedy said. “It’s very well integrated, and it’s inventive because this is creating a new urban beach where there was nothing.” And, perhaps most importantly, the panel also appreciated how the project lends a sense of place to the site. “I like how it’s a space that doesn’t feel like it’s imposing on any kind of behavior,” juror Cathy Lang Ho said. “You can still go out there and hang out and play, but it is nicely structured.”

See all of the winners of ARCHITECT's 2013 Annual Design Review here.

For more projects by Weiss/Manfredi Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism, please visit ARCHITECT's Project Gallery.

The first phase of the Hunter's Point South waterfront park by Weiss/Manfredi Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism

The first phase of the Hunter's Point South waterfront park by Thomas Balsley Associates / Weiss/Manfredi.

Credit: Albert Vecerka


  • Aerial view of Hunter's Point.

    Credit: Albert Vecerka

    Aerial view of Hunter's Point.
  • Aerial view of the recreation oval.

    Credit: Albert Vecerka

    Aerial view of the recreation oval.

Site plan during normal conditions.

Site plan during normal conditions.

Credit: Courtesy Thomas Balsley Associates / Weiss/Manfredi


Site plan during flood conditions.

Site plan during flood conditions.

Credit: Courtesy Thomas Balsley Associates / Weiss/Manfredi


A pavilion with a pleated roof structure marks the ferry landing point on the site.

A pavilion with a pleated roof structure marks the ferry landing point on the site.

Credit: Albert Vecerka


  • A view out through the canopy supports.

    Credit: Albert Vecerka

    A view out through the canopy supports.
  • A view of the urban beach.

    Credit: Albert Vecerka

    A view of the urban beach.

Sustainable Section Diagram.

Sustainable Section Diagram.

Credit: Courtesy Weiss/Manfredi


Graanways through the site overlook the Manhattan skyline.

Greenways through the site overlook the Manhattan skyline.

Credit: Albert Vecerka


View of the pier and pavilion.

View of the pier and pavilion.

Credit: Albert Vecerka


View of the Rail Garden.

View of the Rail Garden.

Credit: Albert Vecerka


Rail Garden.

Rail Garden.

Credit: Albert Vecerka


Project Credits

Project  Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park, New York
Client  Departments of the City of New York
Park Designers  Thomas Balsley Associates / Weiss/Manfredi
Project Team  Thomas Balsley Associates, New York—Thomas Balsley (design principal); Christian Gabriel, Dale Schafer, Michael Koontz; Weiss/Manfredi, New York—Marion Weiss, FAIA, Michael A. Manfredi, FAIA (design partners); Christopher Ballentine (project manager); Michael Steiner, AIA, Lee Lim (project architects); Michael Blasberg, Alice Chai, Nick Elliot, Hyoung-Gul Kook, Joe Vessell
Prime Consultant, Civil and Structural Engineer, and Lighting Design  Arup
Ecological Systems and Restoration Ecologist  E-Design Dynamics
Marine Engineer  Halcrow
Public Art  Karyn Olivier
M/E/P/FP Engineer  A.G. Consulting Engineering
Environmental Engineer  Yu & Associates
Cost Estimator  VJ Associates
Traffic Engineer  B-A Engineering
Graphic Designer  Two Twelve
Historical Researcher  AKRF
Resident Engineer  The Liro Group
Size  9.5 acres (park); 12,000 gross square feet (pavilion)
Cost  Withheld