The park’s recently completed second phase offers New Yorkers an “urban wilderness;” pathways snake along the site’s contours and in between newly re-introduced wetlands and the water’s edge. Plantings engender a sense of immersion in nature.
Visitors are always conscious of Manhattan’s proximity, just across the river. A dramatic, cantilevered overlook offers visitors expansive views and the perfect setting for a selfie or even a marriage proposal.
Designed in collaboration with Weiss/Manfredi, Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park will serve an ambitious adjacent affordable housing development, with more than 5,000 units in the works. The park’s full extent is visible here, from wetlands and gabion edges designed to withstand flooding, to more imaginative elements, including the overlook and the “island” featuring artist Nobu Nagasawa’s art installation.
Landscape architecture, architecture, art and engineering are fused in this extraordinary park, which was the result of a deeply collaborative process. Shown here is a team sketch by Thomas Balsley, Marion Weiss, and Michael Manfredi, the park’s primary authors. Arup’s engineers played a key role in the artful integration of infrastructure. The park was conceived as a whole, then approached in two phases.
The park’s first phase, shown here, focused on programmed spaces and also integrated infrastructural functions. The expansive oval green, for example, serves as an athletic field for a nearby school, and during hurricane Sandy, doubled as a retaining basin for floodwaters.
People are drawn to the water, whether to sit or to stroll….
… or to engage in exercise or outdoor classes. Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park anticipates all of this, and more.
The park also nods to the site’s history, transforming former railroad tracks into garden beds.
It’s an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Whether a visitor is cycling by…
…pausing for reflection at the water’s edge…
…or experiencing the magic of Luminescence, Nobuho Nagasawa’s art installation, at dusk, the park is a memorable place.
Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park
Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park is an international model of urban ecology and a world laboratory for innovative sustainable thinking. What was once a barren post-industrial site has been transformed into a world-class park that is both urbane and otherworldly. The site is waterfront and city; gateway and sanctuary; blank slate and pentimento. These readings suggest an approach to the landscape that enhances what is unique about the site, while framing a new multi-layered identity as a recreational and cultural paradigm.
A collaboration among Thomas Balsley Associates and WEISS/MANFREDI for the open space and park design, with ARUP as the prime consultant and infrastructure designer, the project’s innovative and sustainable design strategies weave infrastructure, landscape, and architecture into new open spaces with connections to the surrounding communities. The park provides access to the water’s edge and spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline.
Designed by Thomas Balsley while at Thomas Balsley Associates, together with WEISS/MANFREDI and ARUP.
LOCATION Queens, New York, United States
CLIENT Port Authority
SCOPE Master Planning, Landscape Architecture
“We actually celebrate the kind of crazy shoreline that we were given. We leveraged its peninsulas into an extraordinarily different kind of waterfront experience, one that allows people to wander in and out, going closer to the water and back away from it. Those shifting perspectives … are really only possible with this kind of diverse shoreline.”
– Tom Balsley, SWA/Balsley
Stanford University Campus Planning and Projects
Over the past 20 plus years SWA has been working with Stanford University to reclaim the 100-year-old master plan vision of Leland Stanford and Frederick Law Olmsted for the campus. This series of campus improvement projects has restored the historic axis, open spaces, and landscape patterns. With Stanford Management Company, SWA designed the Sand Hill corrido...
Heritage Field at Macombs Dam Park
The Macombs Dam park ensemble consists of a variety of lush, contemporary green spaces in which the community can relax, socialize, and play. One segment of the landscape is a 13 acre park on the roof of the stadium parking structure, the largest full-service rooftop park every built by the City; another segment is an at-grade park where the now demolished Ya...
Leeum Samsung Museum of Art
From its mountainside perch overlooking Seoul, the Samsung Museum of Art Complex boasts museums by three of the world’s most sought-after architects: Rem Koolhaas, Jean Nouvel and Mario Botta. Uniting these remarkable yet divergent works of architecture is a space of clean and powerful gestures. This elegant, understated landscape serves as their matrix and mu...
Located on Manhattan’s West Side, Balsley Park, formerly known as Sheffield Plaza, has been transformed from a barren, lifeless plaza into the community’s most cherished common ground.
Following public outcry and many failed attempts to redesign the plaza, Thomas Balsley Associates was hired to build community consensus around a new park-like image and ...