Now that NYC has finally agreed to purchase the last parcel of land needed to complete Brooklyn’s long-awaited Bushwick Inlet Park, the potential for converting the space into a greenery-filled parkland is wide open. One proposal for the site, called Maker Park, is already stirred up both excitement and controversy. The design, featured in Architects Newspaper, pays homage to the city’s maker scene and includes lush gardens, a resilient waterfront wetland, and unique performance venues.
The 27-acre Bushwick Inlet Park has been the center of a decade-long battle to complete the waterfront green space that was promised to the community by the Bloomberg Administration in 2005. Now, that the park has the very last parcel needed for completion, the attention has shifted to the potential design of the space.
According to Architects Newspaper, a team made up of three ambitious New Yorkers – Zac Waldman, Karen Zabarsky and Stacey Anderson – has been working with STUDIO V Architecture and Ken Smith Workshop to reimagine the space that runs from the Bushwick Inlet (at North 14th and Kent Avenue) down to North 12th Street.
Currently the site is home to several cylindrical oil storage tanks left over from its former days as the Bayside Fuel Oil Depot. Instead of eliminating the containers, the Maker Park design converts them into galleries, stages, reflecting pools, art galleries, and hanging gardens. A curved boardwalk encircling a terraced open lawn would lead visitors back and forth from the inlet. The actual waterfront would be planted with native grasses to create a resilient wetland that would act as natural flood barrier.
Of course, the former oil site does have many concerned about potential environmental hazards, which will eventually be addressed by those in charge no matter which design is chosen. Additionally, many see using the old tanks in the design as a “glorification of oil tanks“. However, the Maker Park team insists that there is a safe way of dealing with the site’s hazards by using landscape experts to investigate the potential for capping the area with clean-fill material. As for using the tanks in the park design, they contend that this feature would be a beacon of the park’s ethos of adaptive reuse.
Renderings via STUDIO V Architecture and Ken Smith Workshop