Those looking for a little green escape from the concrete jungle can now find it at WXY Architecture‘s newly unveiled redesign of Astor Place and Cooper Square. The renovated plaza now includes an additional 50,000 square feet of pedestrian-friendly areas with plenty of zipper benches to sit on and enjoy the newly-planted storm-ready landscaping. The existing art works in the plaza – such as the beloved Alamo rotating cube, mosaic installations on the light poles, and the statue of the square’s namesake, Peter Cooper – have also been spruced up.


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Astor Place is one of the city’s busiest plazas, and sees thousands of pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles passing through every day. The new design added approximately 50,000 square feet of new pedestrian space with ample seating in the form of firm’s own Zipper Bench System. Bicyclists wanting to stop and smell the roses will be able to enjoy more than 100 new bike racks. As for the new greenery, almost 10,000 new perennial plants and shrubs, along with 60 new trees, were planted to create a soothing garden feel. To control rain water overflow, about 6,600 square feet of permeable paving and new bioswales were also used in the design.

Related: WXY Architecture Reimagines Crumbling Pier 40 as Usable Park Land for Residents to Enjoy

Claire Weisz, cofounder of WXY, hails the project as an example of how to improve New York’s most popular meeting points with green infrastructure features:“We are delighted to be part of the history behind this major New York City crossroads and to add to Astor Place’s story a new layer that brings together space for pedestrians as well as green infrastructure. Diagonal streets and the history of the 2nd Avenue El set up unusual urban challenges. By upgrading New York City’s below-grade systems, we didn’t have to put off solving these issues any longer. This resulting plaza is a showcase of pedestrian-friendly city amenities as well as cutting-edge green infrastructure, which helps protect against flooding while improving the environment and public health.”

+ WXY Architecture

Images via WXY Architecture