BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK MASTER PLAN
Brooklyn, NY (2003–2005)
Currently under construction, Brooklyn Bridge Park will eventually encompass approximately 85 acres and 1.3 miles of waterfront, running from just north of the Manhattan Bridge to the foot of Atlantic Avenue. The park will be a highly dynamic threshold where two different but codependent ecosystems—river and city—meet. The park’s goals are ambitious and yet fairly straightforward: to preserve the dramatic experience and monumental character of the industrial waterfront while reintroducing self-sustaining ecosystems to the site and investing it with new social and recreational possibilities.

One of the biggest design challenges was improving public access to the long, narrow site—something that is possible in just three locations. The new park will make these key points into “urban junctions,” nexuses of program and landscape that serve as a lifeline to the surrounding neighborhoods. Each of these entrances is marked by a new neighborhood park that will act as transitional space between the main park and the surrounding community. The constant influx of visitors will foster a sense of liveliness, cultural relevance, and safety.

MVVA took a broad mandate of sustainability and applied it across a range of spheres—ecological, structural, cultural, and economic. The park design includes a variety of salvaged materials and repurposes existing marine infrastructure, simplifying engineering solutions and reducing construction and maintenance costs. Guided by the concept of “post-industrial nature,” the design uses unabashedly man-made landscapes to kick-start new site ecologies that can thrive and evolve in a heavy-use urban setting.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park 2005 Master Plan received a 2009 Waterfront Center “Excellence on the Waterfront” Award, a 2009 ASLA Analysis and Planning Honor Award, a 2007 New York ASLA Design Honor Award, and a 2011 Municipal Art Society of New York Brendan Gill Prize.

Links:
Brooklyn Bridge Park
The New Yorker's Architectural Events of the Year
Urban Omnibus - "Park as Process: Brooklyn Bridge Park"
ASLA - "Reinventing Public Place in NYC: BBP"
SiteLines - "Michael Van Valkenburgh and the Design of BBP"
Bloomberg - "Waterfront Ruin Morphs into $350 Million Park"
Video: Van Valkenburgh Tours Brooklyn Bridge Park
Video: Van Valkenburgh Looks Out at the Water
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