PHOTOS: Phase two of Hunter’s Point South Park officially opens on the LIC waterfront
Photo © 6sqft
The Hunter’s Point South Park extension officially opened Wednesday, over three years after construction began at the Long Island City site. The second phase adds 5.5 acres south to the existing park, which currently has a basketball court, playground, two dog-runs, and a volleyball sand pit. The city’s Economic Development Corporation and Department of Parks and Recreation developed the project, which measures 11-acres from 50th Avenue to Newton Creek on the East River.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, local officials and community members gathered to celebrate the project’s opening. “This is a beautiful park,” State Sen. Michael Gianaris said. “Enough to make our friends across in Manhattan look over and be jealous that they don’t have anything as beautiful on their side of the River.”
Via NYC EDC
Designed in collaboration between SWA/BALSEY and WEISS/MANFREDI, with ARUP, the second phase of the park transforms a former abandoned industrial into a green landscape surrounded by a salt marsh. Despite boasting some of the best views of the Manhattan skyline, the twisting design of the park gives visitors a feeling of peaceful solitude.
The park is made to be resilient against rising storm surges, with a barrier of wetlands planted along the waterfront. According to the designers, the park “anticipates the inevitable flooding patterns and rising water levels of the East River.”
“It’s a new kind of park,” Tom Balsley, lead architect at SWA/BALSLEY, said in a statement. “Hunter’s Point South is at once resilient infrastructure and contemplative retreat—a dynamic, living platform with extraordinary power to touch the daily lives of so many people.”
The park’s 30-foot cantilevered overlook, which points forward like a ship heading out to sea, features steel formwork, an ode to the site’s industrial past. Curving pathways lead visitors through grasslands and a picnic area. The new site also boasts three fitness terraces and a kayak launch.
The park also features a public art installation on the park’s rounded peninsula. Designed by local artist Nobuho Nagasawa, “Luminescence” includes seven sculptures that represent the seven phases of the moon. The sculptures are cast in white Portland cement in a six-foot domed mold.
The park is part of the city’s plan to develop the waterfront property with 5,000 housing units, 60 percent of them affordable. Upon completion, that project will span 30 acres. The first phase of the project included two mixed-use buildings with 900 residential units and roughly 20,000 square feet of new retail space.
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