The famed co-designers of the High Line have reinvigorated yet another post-industrial site with a dramatic new park. Landscape architecture and urban design firm James Corner Field Operations recently completed the Philadelphia Navy Yards Central Green, a 5-acre park anchored at the heart of the 1,200-acre Philadelphia Navy Yard Corporate Center. The green space is a bold departure from the typical office park design, and features sustainable elements and circular pockets of native landscaping that reference the site’s historic flora, from wetlands to meadow.
From above, the park looks curiously non-naturalistic with its hard circular shapes that may bring to mind AutoCAD drawings and circle template stencils. The designers presumably wanted the park to double as a work of art when from viewed from above in the adjacent buildings. Carefully placed and varied textures, color, and patterns in the landscape give the otherwise 2D-looking park dimension and interest from an aerial viewpoint.
The circular outlines also delineate the zones of passive and active programming, from a sun lawn and hammock grove to a designated food truck parking area and bocce court. A 20-foot-wide Social Track frames the interior park and organizes the site’s circulation. The Central Green was also planted with over 200 new trees and includes permeable paving and a depressed wet meadow to mitigate stormwater runoff.
Images via James Corner Field Operations