Urban Design

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Behind the Scenes, Features, Urban Design, Williamsburg

Maker Park, THE TANKS at Bushwick Inlet Park, Bayside Oil Depot, Williamsburg waterfront, fuel tanks, Karen Zabarsky, Stacey Anderson

We first learned about the proposal to turn Williamsburg‘s former Bayside Oil Depot into a public park nearly two years ago. Since then, co-founders Karen Zabarsky and Stacey Anderson have been working tirelessly with a team of designers and environmentalists to refine their plans to be something both true to the site’s history and representative of where the neighborhood is heading. Part of the larger Bushwick Inlet Park, a 28-acre open space along an unused waterfront industrial stretch, the plan is unique in that it plans to adaptively reuse the 10, 50-foot decommissioned fuel containers, transforming them into everything from performance spaces to greenhouses.

With a fresh name–THE TANKS at Bushwick Inlet Park–Karen and Stacey recently took 6sqft on an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of the abandoned site, giving us a glimpse into how this incredible industrial relic is poised to become NYC’s next anticipated park. Get a rare, up-close look at the tanks, hear what these powerhouse women have been up to, and learn what we can expect in the near future.

You won’t believe these photos

History, Transportation, Urban Design

Broadway Arcade Railway, 1884, New York Transit Museum, via Wikimedia Commons

Post-Civil War, pre-subway New York City had–surprise–a traffic problem. The number of horse cars and stages that clogged the streets was growing at an alarming rate. Among the proposed solutions was a railway that would be built beneath Broadway, branching out to the east and west at 23rd Street all the way up to the northern tip of Manhattan. The idea was gaining political support, but not everyone was onboard with the idea.

So what happened?

Transportation, Urban Design

flying car, helicar, hugo gernsback, future NYC

A 1923 cover of Science and Invention magazine imagined the flying automobile of 1973. Image via Smithsonian.
Back in May 6sqft reported on the futuristic, fantastic flying Uber; even in 2018, though it may have wings, so to speak, the idea is still one that belongs to the future. Back in 1923, it was predicted that by 1973, flying “helicars” would be buzzing travelers around New York City and the snarled traffic on the city’s roads would be a thing of the past.

It sounds so simple

Green Design, Lower East Side, Urban Design

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2013, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rebuild By Design contest sought proposals for flood protection systems. Among the seven finalists was Bjarke Ingels‘ and One Architecture & Urbanism‘s BIG U, a flooding solution for Manhattan that doubles as a social environment. Now after five years, the first phase of the 10-mile barrier system is getting underway. Rebuild By Design and Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) have released an RFP for a stewardship partner for the BIG U’s East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR), a $335 million reconstruction of the 64-acre, 1.5-mile East River Park. With construction expected to kick off in spring 2019, the partner will “explore stewardship models with funding mechanisms that could enhance the long-term operating budget while addressing issues of equity.”

All the details

Green Design, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design

BIG, humanhattan 205, Bjarke Ingels Group, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018

Image via BIG

In 2014 6sqft reported on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rebuild By Design contest to develop ways to shore up the city from future flooding. Among the short list of winners whose projects will receive funding was “The Big U” from Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), a flooding solution for Manhattan that doubles as a social environment, with over a third of the $920 million in prize money to go toward its development. Now BIG is making a bigger splash with a similar vision now on display at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, the Observer reports. Called “Humanhattan 2050,” the project, created for the Biennale, which the firm calls “an academic exploration in urban environments and resiliency” could someday represent the first effort to keep cities safe while creating a new, improved social space along the waterfront.

Take a look

Gowanus, Urban Design

Gowanus rezoning, Draft Planning and Land Use Framework of Gowanus, Department of City Planning, Bridging Gowanus

The banks of the Gowanus. Image courtesy of Department of City Planning

Attempts to rezone the area surrounding the Gowanus Canal, a neighborhood both affluent and in transition, have been in the works for over a decade. Now, Brownstoner reports, the long-anticipated Draft Planning and Land Use Framework of Gowanus has just been released by the Department of City Planning (DCP). The 188-page report is the result of 100 hours of outreach since the launch of the Gowanus PLACES Study in 2016 as well as information contained in a previous Bridging Gowanus Study released in 2014.

Find out more

Landscape Architecture, Major Developments, New Developments, Urban Design, Williamsburg

Domino Park, Two Trees

Photo credit: Daniel Levin

Two Trees Management announced today that Domino Park, the long-awaited new waterfront recreational public space at the 11-acre Domino Sugar Factory site, will celebrate its grand opening this Sunday, June 10. In April, 6sqft revealed renderings of the new park and esplanade that will anchor the three-million-square-foot Williamsburg mega-development at the Domino Sugar Factory site, designed by James Corner Field Operations (of the High Line fame). The quarter-mile long public park, located just north of the Williamsburg Bridge, celebrates the history of one of the city’s most iconic industrial waterfront sites with adaptively reused syrup tanks, warehouse columns, and original cranes (now painted the park’s signature turquoise color “untealed”). There will also be a taco kiosk from Danny Meyer, a water feature, bocce courts, and a children’s playground designed by Mark Reigelman as a reinterpretation of the original factory.

Check out industrial artifacts, water features and more

Brooklyn Heights, Urban Design

A conceptual rendering of the pool via Brooklyn Bridge Park

After five years of having a pop-up pool at Pier 2, Brooklyn Heights is getting its own permanent public pool. This morning, Brooklyn Bridge Park officially announced plans to build a pool at Squibb Park, above Pier 1 near the Pierhouse condo. Together with the NYC Parks Department, BBP will develop, operate and maintain the pool and future amenities. Tentatively, the pool is scheduled to open in 2020, with community planning sessions to be held this summer and fall ahead of issuing a Request for Design Proposals.

Find out more

Gowanus, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design

Gowanus Salt Lot Public Park. Gowanus by Design, Gowanus Canal Conservancy, Gowanus public park

The Salt Lot is a triangular piece of land just south of the point at which all three branches of the Gowanus Canal meet. The city-owned site hosts a NYC Compost Project facility, as well as the Gowanus Canal Conservancy’s nursery and educational facilities. However, the EPA has mandated a new four-million-gallon retention tank be placed there to manage combined sewer overflow. Gowanus by Design (GbD) saw this new infrastructure requirement as a catalyst for sparking conversation about much needed public urban space in the area. They’ve therefore created a conceptual proposal for the Gowanus Salt Lot Public Park, which includes three buildings constructed with materials that reference the Canal’s industrial history, along with sloping hills and wetlands.

More details and renderings ahead

Architecture, Midtown East, New Developments, Urban Design

Back in February, 6sqft reported that the Union Carbide Building at 270 Park Avenue–currently the JP Morgan Chase headquarters–was set to be the largest intentionally demolished building in history when plans move forward to replace the 700-foot-tall structure with a tower that will likely rise to over 1,200 feet. ArchDaily brings us a study done by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) that looks at the 100 tallest buildings ever to be demolished by their owners. The study, aptly titled, “Tallest Demolished Buildings,” confirms that if the current plans move forward, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s 270 Park Avenue would indeed become the tallest to go down–and the first over 200 meters in height.

Find out more

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