Design Firm Reimagines Neglected Space Under the BQE as a Food Court and Sports Center

Posted On Thu, May 26, 2016 By

Posted On Thu, May 26, 2016 By In Sunset Park, Urban Design

NYC-based design firm Buro Koray Duman has come up with a series of plans to use the under-utilized space beneath the BQE in a site near Sunset Park‘s Industry City, the massive waterfront industrial complex which itself has recently experienced a renaissance as a hub for designers and local manufacturers. The elevated highway separates Industry City from the rest of the neighborhood, and the proposed uses would connect the space beneath with the creative and commercial energy of the complex. According to Dezeen, the firm saw an opportunity to put the empty sub-highway space to good use and add “more color and convenience to the city’s daily life.”

Under BQE Industry City

The two ideas proposed by Buro Koray Duman for transforming the space into a “gateway for Industry City” include using it as a food court filled with food trucks and as a pop-up sports and fitness complex.

Under BQE Food Court

The first idea sees the site as a bustling urban kitchen in which “folded landscapes and roofscapes define commercial kitchens and parking for food trucks.” Trucks would then hit the city with food prepared there. Once the trucks headed out, their parking spots would turn into a park during the day, giving the space more than one purpose.

Under BQE IC sports

Under BQE Sports Bubble 2

The second proposal takes into account the noise generated by vehicles passing by overhead and suggests a sports center, which would “work well with the noise.” This design would create ball fields and areas for exercise classes; in winter the area would be enclosed in an inflatable structure “squeezed under the highway.”

Under BQE key

Under BQE 1

Under BQE 2

Under BQE Sports Bubble

The proposals for the space beneath the BQE are part of a series of ideas for activating under-utilized spaces under elevated highways, railroad tracks and other transportation routes. Related proposals include, for example, the Underline park proposed by James Corner Field Operations for a stretch of elevated rail tracks in Miami.

Buro Koray Duman’s suggestions had their origins in a 2013 initiative by the nonprofit group Design Trust for Public Space and the city’s transportation department, which was intended to to revitalize these neglected spaces. 6sqft previously covered the report titled, “Under the Elevated; Reclaiming Space, Connecting Communities,” published in March 2015.

Influenced by the report and visits to Industry City, Buro Koray Duman began pondering ways to activate the area under the highway. “The BQE cuts the Industry City complex off from the rest of the neighborhood,” the firm said. “The proposals aim to start a conversation in New York City about potentials of the vast vacant areas underneath these existing infrastructures.”

[Via Dezeen]

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Images courtesy of Buro Koray Duman

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Neighborhoods : Sunset Park

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