It seems like just yesterday that we reported on the groundbreaking of the massive Hunter's Point South affordable housing complex in Long Island City, Queens, but Phase 1, a sprawling waterfront park, is already complete. This morning, Mayor Bloomberg will be cutting the ribbon on the brand new Hunter's Point South Park and officially opening it up to the community. Inhabitat recently had a chance to check out all this new green space has to offer - from the panoramic city views to the urban beach, dog run and children's play area.
Park Designers: Thomas Balsley Associates / WEISS/MANFREDI
Prime Consultant and Infrastructure Designer: Arup
A collaboration between Thomas Balsley Associates and Weiss/Manfredi with infrastructure design by ARUP, Hunter’s Point South Park is the first phase of the Hunter’s Point South complex, which will bring 5,000 mostly affordable apartments to the Queens waterfront along with a new school and retail space. According to the architects, HPS will be the largest affordable housing building project in New York City since the 1970s.
While the $66 million green space is certainly a sight to behold with its sweeping multi-use green oval and Empire State Building-framing pavilion, many of the park’s most impressive achievements are not visible to the naked eye. Thomas Balsley Associates and Weiss/Manfredi actually considered the site’s vulnerability to water long before Hurricane Sandy, but after it flooded heavily during the superstorm, the need to put proper drainage at the forefront of the design became an absolute necessity.
To address the issue of future storms, the design team incorporated a bioswale filter along Center Blvd. and worked to create a format where water would come into the park but drain out quickly. Renewable energy was also a consideration, and the park’s pleated white pavilion boasts 64 solar panels that can generate 37,000 kWh per year to supply power for more than 50 percent of the park’s operations.
For more photos of the park’s dog park, urban beach, interpretive rail garden, basketball court, playground and more, click through our gallery below.
Photos ©Yuka Yoneda