The plans to transform seven acres beneath the Kosciuszko Bridge into “a public park, cultural destination, and ecological hub” were unveiled last month by the North Brooklyn Parks Alliance.
The ethos behind the design of the project draws contrast to “glamorous public spaces” like the Highline in favor of a “process-place that is firmly rooted in the local,” according to the presentation (PDF).
In the culture of Brooklyn we sense a burgeoning desire for a new breed of public space built more upon the creative capacity of the neighbourhood, rather than the recent mold of NYC’s more glamourous public spaces (Highline, etc.). So many of the memorable projects in Brooklyn were made organically, informally, even spontaneously. We anticipate a programmatically diverse, flexible and adaptable space that is more open-ended in terms of how it is conceived to evolve over time. Could Under the K create a process-place that is firmly rooted in the local culture of this place and less in the perfection of a finished composition?
NBPA was initially awarded $100,000 through the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund to design the project with sustainability as a pillar. The Canadian landscape architecture firm Public Work, the project’s design partner released the renderings of the future park design.
The Greenpoint Star describes the four spaces that comprise the new park:
The linear park, which would stitch together several plots of land under the Kosciuszko Bridge, would be broken into four different spaces.
The first area is called “The Arm.” It would be a linear promenade that connects visitors, pedestrians and cyclists coming off the bridge onto a tree-lined and safe path that guides them into the park.
The Arm would be capable of hosting community markets as well, organizers said.
The second space, which PUBLIC WORK named “K-flex 1,” would be the main multifunctional zone geared toward programming, community activities and play.
Next to that is “K-flex 2,” a larger space that could hold large-scale events like concerts, performances and public gatherings. It could be filled with bleachers as well.
The final zone, called “Creekside,” would connect park users to the edge of Newtown Creek, with public outlooks, seating and a restorative landscape of native ecologies.
Under the K park would be defined by the bridge’s concrete beams, which expand from 40-feet-high at the entrance to 120 feet at the waterfront.
Marc Ryan, a principal at PUBLIC WORK, said part of the excitement of designing this project was rediscovering public spaces in places where people haven’t looked before.
“In many ways, our approach was to enhance the qualities that were already inherent in the environment,” he said. “Our process was almost uncovering the spatial experiences, the sense of wonder of the place, and then think about the design as enabling people to experience that flow and progressive spaces.”
The first portions of the park are expected to be finished by the end of this year, in meantime here are renderings: