KEN SMITH WORKSHOP

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

URBANISM

ART

 The Elevated Acre, NYC

Start Date: 2002

Completion Date: 2005

 

New Water Street Corporation, client

Rogers Marvel, architect

 

Peter Mauss / ESTO, photography

bottom images (plan and section) - Ken Smith Workshop

This public space in the heart of the financial district sits atop a parking structure 30 feet above the street. The site has a commanding view over New York Harbor. A sequence of spaces was created to support a variety of public needs and activities including quiet places to enjoy the view with comfortable seating, a large terraced space with open lawn for performances and organized events, spaces to eat lunch, and a series of planted dunes that speak to the site’s proximity to the waterfront and the New York Harbor.

 

The design vocabulary is rooted in an abstraction of the terminal moraine topography that historically typified the geology of the area. The ground plane of the site was sloped up to create a new horizon line with a series of landscape “dunes”. The design manipulates perspective with the sloping ground plane initially obscuring the view of the East River and the Harbor. As people move up the slope and through the dunes, the horizon gradually opens up to the East River and the graceful span of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Harbor are dramatically revealed.

An Elevated Plaza Finally Worth Going Up To See,

New York TImes, October 19, 2005

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