The 17-foot-tall, wooden, sloping platform was designed to serve a dual purpose. First, observers on top of the 6000 square-foot Mantaray could walk up to an elevated view of Lower Manhattan. Underneath, the designers also plan to use the 3,000 square-foot space as a covered seating area for skyline-gazing events and outdoor movie screenings.
In an interview with Archpaper, BIG’s Bjarke Ingels explains that the Mantaray was inspired to create organic slopes “shaped by concerns for accessibility, safety, shelter, structure—like a manmade reef evolved to accommodate human life.”
The dynamic platform is such a notable piece of the project that it needs its own $5 million to $7 million budget, and is still seeking funding. If financing can’t be found, the architects say they will install a series of shaded structures in its place. The rest of the park, plotted out by landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, is already fully funded. Construction is expected to begin in early 2014 and is slated to be complete by mid-2015.