- Project Name
- Hunter's Point South Waterfront Park
- New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC)
- Project Types
- Project Scope
- New Construction
- Shared by
- Madeleine D'Angelo
- Project Status
- Concept Proposal
Many lifelong New Yorkers would have to confess that they’ve never been to Newtown Creek, the narrow stream separating Brooklyn from Queens. But with the completion of the Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park, the long-neglected channel is poised to become a major destination: The sprawling 11-acre public space begins at the celebrated Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City, and continues south along the East River with a series of grand promenades and winding paths that provide a perfect environment to get fresh air and take in the view while still maintaining social distance.
A unique combination of environmental design and urban planning, the project is the result of a collaboration between New York–based firms SWA/Balsley and Weiss/Manfredi Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism; the resulting park features a balance of landscape and architecture. For nature lovers, the park features landscapes that range from a peaceful island grove to dragonfly-filled wetlands, where marshy edges double as a flood-mitigation mechanism. For fans of architecture, the park affords highlights like a cantilevered lookout point surrounded by crisply designed bench seating, a boat launch, and an outdoor exercise zone with stationary equipment set on a spacious concrete platform.
The primary recreational feature of a still-under-construction residential district next door, the park affords sensational views of the Manhattan skyline, and ties together the more developed portion of the Queens waterfront with the lesser-known Newtown Creek section. As visitors round the southern curve of the park, they find the old waterway waiting for them and can begin to explore a revitalized resource they didn’t know they were missing.
Project: Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park, Page TKT
Location: Queens, N.Y.
Client: New York City Economic Development Corp./New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
Architect: Weiss/Manfredi Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism, New York . Marion Weiss, FAIA, Michael A. Manfredi, FAIA (lead designers); Chris Ballentine (project manager, phase 1); Lee Lim (project manager, phase 2); Michael Blasberg, Johnny Lin, AIA, Jinhui Huang< Assoc. AIA, Michael Steiner (project team)
Landscape Architect: SWA/Balsley
Prime Consultant/Infrastructure Designer/Structural/Civil Engineer: Arup
MEP Engineer: A.G. Consulting Engineering
Construction Manager: The LiRo Group
Lighting Designer: Arup
Landscape Construction Administration: SiteWorks
Ecological Systems and Restoration Ecologist: Great Ecology
Marine Engineering: CH2M Hill
Public Art: Nobuho Nagasawa
Artist Consultant: Suzanne Randolph Fine Arts
Environmental Engineer: Yu & Associates
Cost Estimator: VJ Associates
Traffic Engineer: B-A Engineering
Survey and Utilities: Naik Consulting Group
Graphic Designer: Nice Kern
Historical Researcher: AKRF
Size: 508,100 square feet (11.5 acres)
Total Cost: $166 million
Materials and Sources
Adhesives/Coatings/Sealants: Atlantic Coast Metalizing; Sherwin Williams
Concrete: NYCON Concrete Supply
Flooring: Galvin Brothers
Lighting: Lithonia Lighting (interior phase 1); Winscape (exterior canopy, phase 1); Lumiere; Bega
Metal: Powell Steel; Newport Industrial Fabrication
Paints/Finishes: Sherwin Williams
Photovoltaics: Sunpower Corp.
Roofing: EPDM roofing
Site/Landscape Products: Landscape Forms (furniture); Landscape Structures, Outdoor-Fitness, Water Odyssey (equipment)
Structural System: Powell Steel; Newport Industrial Fabrication
This project won a 2020 AIA Regional & Urban Design Awards.
FROM THE AIA:
Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park in Queens, New York, is an 11-acre model of urban ecology and sustainable thinking. As one of the city’s most ambitious developments in years, the area includes 5,000 affordable housing units, two schools, and an expanded ferry stop. With water surrounding it on three sides, the park relies on a number of green initiatives to combat long-term disinvestment and create a new urban ecological paradigm.
Two centuries ago, the site was a series of wetlands, but its more recent industrial identity reflects its proximity to the waterfront and rail access. Nearly all signs of the site’s ecologically rich history were erased over decades of industrialization and abandonment. The new park takes advantage of the site’s multiple histories and sweeping views to create a resilient destination for recreation and culture. In addition, it provides protection to the rapidly expanding community surrounding it in times of flooding and extreme weather.
The park’s design incorporates a series of perimeter ecologies that link the northern and southern ends of the site as well as the park’s precincts and programs. Existing concrete bulkheads along the water’s edge were removed to make way for new wetlands and pathways to create a softer edge, and the intersection of the city and the park is marked by a richly planted bioswale. The site’s irregular shape, which shifts from narrow to broad between the city and water, helps calibrate the scale of the park’s programmatic elements.
The most open area of the site is defined by a new multi-use green oval, ringed by a continuous path that offers dramatic views of the Manhattan skyline across the river and includes spaces for informal performances. A pleated steel shade on the oval’s southern edge follows its curve and serves as shelter for a water ferry stop and houses concessions.
Through its soft approach to floodwaters, the park is a new model for waterfront resilience. A slightly elevated causeway that meanders along the river’s edge offers exciting recreation opportunities while protecting nearly 1.5 acres of newly established wetlands. In addition, the team leveraged the site’s dramatic topography through a new island accessible by pedestrian bridge, a shaded promontory, and a collection of “break out” spaces located just steps from pathways.
Project: Hunter's Point South Waterfront Park
Architects: Swa/Balsley and WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism
Structural Engineer: ARUP
M/E/P Engineer: A.G. Consulting Engineering
Environmental: Yu & Associates
Ecological Systems and Restoration Ecologist: E-Design Dynamics (Phase I), Great Ecology (Phase II)
Civil Engineer: ARUP
Graphics / Signage: Two Twelve (Phase I), Nice Kern, LLC (Phase II)
Cost Estimating: VJ Associates
Marine Engineering: Halcrow
Public Art: Karyn Olivier, Nobuho Nagasawa
Permitting Expeditor: KM Associates of New York, Inc.
Traffic Engineer: B-A Engineering, P.C.
Historical Researcher: AKRF
Construction Manager: The Liro Group