This week New York City officially unveiled it’s finalized plan for a $220 million renovation of Governors Island! Starting in 2012, construction will begin on what could become one of the coolest urban parks in the world. The finalized design is by Dutch firm West 8 in partnership with Rogers Marvel Architects, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, SMWM and Urban Design+ and comes complete with flowering terraces, boardwalks, marshland, a hammock grove, mountainscapes and newly-found stunning views of the Manhattan skyline.
The city bought Governor’s Island from the US government for $1.00 in 2003, and up until 1997 the island was home to the oldest US military base. The finalized design is a wild reinterpretation of the space, which is currently covered in military buildings. When you first arrive you are greeted by beautiful old structures, and toward the far end of the island there stands a stark concrete village of army barracks. The older buildings are preserved in this new design and their features are integrated into the flow of the green space. Liggett Hall’s gorgeous archway (pictured above) will make way to Liggett Terrace, a place for gathering.
The less inviting concrete barracks will be leveled to make way for green space. These areas will house the more extravagant features of the new park. A group of mountains and cliffs will be built that will provide stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, a man-made marshland at the southern tip of the island will welcome native wildlife, and a densely-wooded grove of trees will be outfitted with a group of hammocks for dozing in.
As we learned recently with the opening of the Highline Park — also designed partially by Diller, Scofidio and Renfro — the wildest ideas sometimes make for the most beloved parks. Skeptics of the design for Governors Island worry about the cost of the project. Although the price tag is high, this innovative design is sure to draw a crowd of curious tourists and New York residents. Governors Island is set to become a wonderland of nature just a ferry ride away from the Big Apple.
Via The NY Times