Swale in 2017, photo via Subhram Reddy.
A 5,000-square-foot edible perennial garden will travel to the Brooklyn Army Terminal this summer, offering up New Yorkers the chance to harvest fruits and vegetables on top of a barge. The floating food forest, Swale, docked in Manhattan last year and featured an apple orchard surrounded by garden beds. This year, the 130×40 foot barge will set up along the Sunset Park waterfront between May 5 and July 1, and be free and open to the public on the weekends.
Photo courtesy of Strongbow
With spring officially here, it’s the perfect time to visit your favorite park. While there are plenty to choose from, there’s only one that floats on water. As reported by Time Out, Swale, the collaborative floating food forest, which let visitors pick free produce last summer, is back with an updated design–“a blossoming apple orchard surrounded by garden beds filled with herbs, fruits and vegetables.” In a collaboration with Strongbow, the newly designed barge will be docking at public piers from April through October.
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Yesterday, 6sqft uncovered conceptual renderings for a nine-acre island/pier in the Hudson River that would serve as a final terminus for the High Line. It would be a circular-shaped cultural and recreational center, dotted with five interconnected pyramid-shaped buildings, as well as an elevated promenade and a marina. It’s quite similar in design and theory to Barry Diller’s proposed Pier 55 floating park, which is planned for a Hudson River site slightly farther south in the Meatpacking District. And then there’s the + Pool, a massive public pool proposed for the East River.
Pier 55, the futuristic, $130 million park and performance space, already has a lease deal and $113 million in funding in place, but it was slapped with a lawsuit saying those involved have failed to throughly evaluate the environmental impact of the park. Which brings us to our question — is this new model the future of public space in NYC? In an urban setting where every square inch of space is at a premium, floating parks certainly are a creative alternative, but are the logistics ultimately too complicated?
Images: Hub on the Hudson via Eytan Kaufman (above); Pier 55 via Heatherwick Studio/Mathews Nielsen (L); + Pool (R)
It seems the way to create new public spaces in New York these days is to float them in the rivers. First there was the +Pool, then Pier55, and now we introduce to you Swale, a floating food forest that may grace our waters next summer.
The New York Observer reports that artist Mary Mattingly is looking to embark on the project, which will “be created with collaborators and built from repurposed shipping containers, will stretch 50 feet across and will feature a gangway entrance, walkways, and an edible forest garden.” The floating garden will move around to different docks in the harbor to serve various communities. Local students and gardeners are working on a wetland plant base that will filter the river water to help grow edible plants.
More on the project ahead
The city was abuzz on Monday when news broke of media mogul Barry Diller’s $130 million pledge to build a $170 million, 2.7-acre floating park off the shore of 14th Street in the Hudson River. The planning and design process had been kept under wraps for over two years, and though the undulating, amoeba-shaped public space seems like a pretty out-there idea, the fact that a prominent billionaire (the single largest private donor to the High Line and husband of Diane von Furstenberg, no less) has committed so much money to the project makes it much more realistic. The media seems divided on whether or not the park, known as Pier 55, will come to fruition, so tell us what you think.
Rendering via Pier55 Inc. and Heatherwick Studio