GOVERNORS ISLAND PARK

Masterplan

New York, NY

2009

Sandwiched between the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn, Governors Island is at the center of one of the world’s most spectacular natural and manmade landscapes. Despite this fact, the 172-acre parcel has been outside of the mental map of New York City for much of its 400-year history. The proposal, led by West 8 and in conjunction with Rogers Marvel Architects, uses the manmade topography of lower Manhattan as a starting point; the southern tip of the island is transformed into an artificial landscape with hills constructed of reclaimed materials from existing Governors Island buildings. Bicycles will be available to access paths between the hills as well as access the adjacent tidal basin, a 10,000 seat amphitheater, and the perimeter promenade with its unique views of New York City. As the new topography approaches the western edge of the island, it transforms into EPDM covered greenhouse structures, programmed as botanical and aquatic research centers, aquaria and restaurants all focusing on the flora and fauna of the site. Off-shore programmed structures emerge like bubbles from the water; the Oyster Restaurant an inflated sphere, 150 feet in diameter, anchored to a manmade oyster reef. Rather than focusing its gaze on the world, it turns to the ecology of the local, allowing guests to eat the site by serving food from the Hudson and the harbor.

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