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Waterfalls, Forests Proposed for Park Avenue in NYC

Monday, March 12, 2018

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Architects recently went to work re-imagining the center strips along New York City’s Park Avenue, with some pitching ideas for a waterfall, a route for kayaking commuters and an underground rock-climbing wall, all for the latest iteration of a design contest hosted by New York-based real-estate company Fisher Brothers.

Competition Submissions

The Beyond the Centerline ideas contest is intended to both foster creativity and “challenge participants to think outside the box; to propose exciting ideas that have never been considered possible for the medians; and to reimagine the existing urban landscape," according to the competition's website.

"We want ideas that bring Park Avenue into the 21st century."

Participants were asked to accommodate the neighborhood’s context in their design, while also delivering something interactive, innovative and environmentally sustainable. They were not asked to follow any restrictive guidelines, such as zoning codes, however.

Out of over 150 entrants, 17 were shortlisted for providing the most ambitious designs. All of those shortlisted were on display until March 9, with public voting ending the same day.

Some of the top entries included:

  • A waterfall flowing over a mountain-shaped structure, from ATYPE Architecture;
  • A narrow water passage accessed by steps, which residents could use to commute to work by kayak, as well as an ice rink, from Local Architects;
  • A forest habitat for wildlife, from Harrison Green;
  • A portal to a subterranean space that would feature shops and cafes, from Gaffney-Nguyen; and
  • Delving further underground to create multiple levels for food markets, theaters and other amenities, from Studio Ames.

"Our hope is that this contest and these proposals will spark a real conversation about what can be done to activate Park Avenue’s centerline for a new generation of New Yorkers,” said Fisher Brothers partner Winston Fisher.

The jury for the competition includes Vishaan Chakrabarti, founder of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism; Fisher Brothers partner Winston Fisher; Signe Nielsen, founding principal of Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects; among others.

The winner will be announced this week, with the jury pick winning $25,000 and the people’s choice getting $5,000.


Tagged categories: Color + Design; Contests; Design; Urban Planning

Comment from Drake Wauters, (3/12/2018, 4:00 AM)

For the waterfall what is the carbon footprint of this construction and operation (including the water pump energy) for the life of the project?

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