The redesign of the northern end of Union Square Park is the final piece in an ongoing renovation of the park initiated by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation in the 1980s. The MVVA design supports the continued use of this space for large public gatherings, as well as its ongoing use as a farmer's market four days a week. The plaza’s redesign includes repaving and raising the northern plaza and east and west park peripheries by six inches to creating a continuous open space around the entire perimeter of the park. The distinctive, durable, and inexpensive pavement assembly employs two shades of hexagonal asphalt block to create a pattern of rectangular blocks that enliven the plaza perimeter, maximize its perceived extension around the corners of the park, and speak to the larger space of Union Square defined by the surrounding vertical building façades.
Combining two small age-differentiated playgrounds as well as taking over an area that had been recently occupied by a seasonal restaurant concession, the enlarged and improved playground creates a secure and safe world of play that unfolds in the unique space created between the sidewalk-level pavilion building and the raised park. The design integrates play value with landscape experience, thus providing an exciting variety of natural textures and city views alongside opportunities for active social play. The design makes significant areas of the playground accessible and exciting to children with various types of disabilities.
NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
New York Magazine