Oculus - Winter 2015 - (Page 14)

one block over The Battery and Beyond Displaced by 9/11 and battered by Superstorm Sandy, it is finally realizing its place as Lower Manhattan's premier waterfront oasis BY C LA ire wi L s o n W SeaGlass Carousel 14 Oculus Winter 2015 According to Warrie Price, founder and president of The Battery Conservancy, 9/11 and Superstorm Sandy each set back The Battery's progress five to 10 years. Repairing storm damage at the Whitehall subway station continues to hinder work; the storm also influenced changes in the approach to park resilience. The Tiffany & Co. Woodland Garden, for instance, designed by Rick Darke, will take 100 years to mature. It is being started from seed and planted for salt-tolerant root structures. Despite catastrophic setbacks, long-delayed projects at the southern tip of Manhattan seem to be coming together in a way that will enhance how visitors experience The Battery. Pier A, stalled for decades, opened to the public in 2014 as Pier A Harbor House, a waterfront restaurant with marvelous outdoor seating. H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture was the restoration architect of the 1883 building, which once served as headquarters for the Department of Docks and Ferries and NYFD fireboats. At the opposite end, the 1909 Battery Maritime Building, now home to the Governors Island Ferry, will soon be The Battery Maritime Hotel. Ismael Leyva Architects designed the addition, with interiors by I©RAVE. In front of the Staten Island Ferry terminal, Peter Minuit Plaza was designed by the Department of Parks & Recreation Manhattan Capital Projects, with the whimsical New Amsterdam Plein and Pavilion by Amsterdam-based UNStudio. Construction fences still dot the landscape, but The Battery's status as a destination seems to be assured. Some 65,000 people came to ride the SeaGlass Carousel in the first seven weeks of operation, according to Price, making it as popular as the Statue of Liberty and One World Trade Center. She beams, "How thrilling is that?" Claire Wilson is a New York-based freelance writer. ©Claire Wilson ©Claire Wilson ©Claire Wilson hen the 2000 AIA Guide to New York City called the former Staten Island Ferry Terminal "the world's most banal portal to joy," it might have been referring to all of what was known as Battery Park. Sure, the historic 25-acre swath of Lower Manhattan had great sea breezes and spectacular water views. But it was little more than a confusing network of tree-shaded asphalt paths linking a hodgepodge of unrelated government buildings. Twenty years after the creation of The Battery Conservancy, the park has a new name - The Battery - to celebrate its renewed status. It is a destination again, as it was when the New York Aquarium, then located in the 1808 Castle Clinton, drew 2.5 million people annually between 1896 and 1941, when Robert Moses shuttered it as part of some grand plan never realized. It is now a vibrant nature theme park whose gardens and fountains celebrate the built and natural environment. Its latest addition, the SeaGlass Carousel, designed by WXY architecture + urban design, is a nod to the old aquarium, with a pavilion shaped like a chambered nautilus and iridescent fish swirling to music in magical lighting. "It is a relaxing kind of aesthetic that intensifies the reason you go to a park," says Claire Weisz, FAIA, principal of WXY. "It pulls in views of the park to create a water environment." WXY also designed the Bosque Fountains inside the 53,000-square-foot Bosque. It was created by Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, whose master plan also includes a bikeway that links bike paths in Hudson River Park and the East River Esplanade, and the Battery Urban Farm, a teaching farm complete with beehives. Oudolf 's Gardens of Remembrance were the first completed phase of the master plan, which also includes a labyrinth designed by Camino de Paz Labyrinths. Construction begins next year on Playscape, by BKSK Architects and Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects, which is geared to children. Pier A The 1909 Battery Maritime Building and new addition for the Battery Maritime Hotel. Reinventing Architecture: Design in a Digital World

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Winter 2015

First Words Letter from Two Presidents
Letter from the Editor
Center for Architecture
One Block Over
Opener: Practical Attitudes
ICE in the River: Cornell Tech’s Center of Connectivity
Restoring – At Least Virtually – One of England’s Greatest Lost Buildings
At the Corner of Past and Present
The Design-Fabrication Dynamic
How Big Data is Reshaping Architecture
Architecture at the Digital Edge
3D for the Defense
Thinking Beyond the Flat Page
In Print
51-Year Watch
Last Words
Index to Advertisers

Oculus - Winter 2015