Union Square North
The redesign of the north end of Union Square Park completes a park-wide renovation project begun by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in the 1980s. MVVA’s plan enhances the park’s suitability for large public gatherings as well as its ongoing use as a farmer's market.
The plaza and adjacent park edges are raised and repaved to establish a continuous open expanse around the park perimeter. Durable and inexpensive hexagonal asphalt blocks in two shades create a distinctive pattern that enlivens the plaza and speaks to the vertical building façades that surround Union Square.
The design provides an exciting variety of natural textures and city views alongside opportunities for social activity. Two small, age-differentiated playgrounds and an area previously occupied by a seasonal restaurant concession are combined into a safe, improved, and engaging environment. The design also makes significant areas of the playground accessible and exciting to children with disabilities. Union Square North is a subtle but playful update to one of New York City’s iconic urban spaces.