"The Battery Bosque & Carousel"
Company:WXY architecture + urban design
Designer(s): Laura Starr, Claire Weisz, Mark Yoes, Piet Oudolf, Linnaea Tillett, United States
Category: Architecture Categories, Professional
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WXY worked on the design of the Battery Bosque for the Battery Conservancy with Prime Landscape Architects Saratoga Associates and Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf. This collaborative design approach has created a series of public spaces and designs that bring a contemporary sensibility to this historic park in great need of upgrade.
WXY was responsible for the architectural features of the new design, which include a spiral shaped water feature based on the spiral of Archimedes, a custom designed kiosk, and benches with and without back supports. The project also included a pedestrian circulation study. Also, the firm is currently developing a contemporary carousel for the park.
This newly redesigned park was remade out of an existing two-acre combination of plane trees and asphalt surfaces. The Battery Bosque is an award-winning waterfront garden space. Rich and colorful in its planting and playful in its architecture, the Bosque fulfills The Battery’s potential as a destination: full of natural abundance, with spaces to sit, eat, and play, it is a lushly planted porch to the vast acreage of New York’s Inner Harbor. The park elements were designed both to hold up to the punishing wear and tear of relaxing New Yorkers with an absolutely minimal use of material as well as to create a new curvilinear park geometry. The prefabricated food kiosks are derived from a series of arcs, replicable, self-shaded and made of certified sustainably-harvested hardwood. The kiosks have been approved and lauded by the Art Commission as being elegant and modern additions to park architecture in the city. An interactive fountain anchors the northern end of the Bosque and takes its form from other spirals found throughout the park: from the promenade bench to the swirling currents of New York Harbor. In addition to these elements, the firm designed and developed a carousel based on the theme of sea life that links this new feature with the original New York Aquarium. The Carousel project combines the analog field of building structures, a moving ride and low-tech shadow box imagery with the digital potential of projection and electrified glass technology. The sound structure also mixes old and new technology combining actual environmental noise made by moving parts and with amplified original musical scores recorded live by New York musicians.
The collaboration of art and design is an original innovation in the design of public space and the creation of a distinctly contemporary environment. The impressive underwater theme comes from the Carousel's location at the New York Harbor and at the Battery which was the first home of the New York Aquarium. The spiraling architecture will be constructed of metal and glass that forms a shell and creates a screen for the show. Even the architecture combines the analog and digital by using smart glass technology to dim the space and capture the experience of diving underwater.
The media design uses the paradigm of the magic lantern that will move up and down the central cylinder and cast images on the building in combination with digital projection against the architecture that will animate the voyage. The graphic design uses the architecture to highlight and play on the many themes of this project. Even before its public announcement, The Battery Park Carousel was recently featured as “The Best of New York” in the New York Post when viewed at the recent Going Public exhibition at the Architecture Center.
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