Twin skyscrapers dominate BIG's nature-friendly waterfront development
Despite a very busy 2019, which included completing two of our favorite buildings, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) isn't quite done yet, and has unveiled a plan to redesign a stretch of New York City waterfront in collaboration with James Corner Field Operations. The River Street Waterfront Masterplan is centered around two new skyscrapers, a circular pathway, and lots of carefully-landscaped park space.
Assuming it does indeed go ahead – which isn't yet definite – the River Street Waterfront Masterplan will be located in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn and include a pair of residential towers. We've no word on their height at this early stage, but BIG says they will be oriented so as to minimize the extent to which they obstruct the view.
Elsewhere, the River Street Waterfront Masterplan will feature a YMCA center, retail space, and a swimming pool. More significant is the landscaping though, which will be ambitious, with 6 acres (2.4 hectares) of public park space, tidal pools salt marshes, groves, and a nature trail. Additionally, a circular path will enclose a protected cove and offer choice views of Brooklyn and Manhattan. The area's flood defenses will be upgraded too, using a new breakwater system.
“Our proposal closes one of the last remaining gaps in the continuous transformation of the Williamsburg waterfront into a post-industrial natural habitat," says Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner and Creative Director at BIG. "Rather than stopping at the hard edge of the old dock, Metropolitan avenue is split into a pedestrian loop extending all the way in to the river, connecting the dots of the concrete caissons to form an urban archipelago of recreative islands while protecting a beach and body of water for water sports and wetlands."
According to Dezeen, the River Street Waterfront Masterplan is awaiting planning permission, which could take two years, while the construction in turn is likely to take five years to complete. The project is being developed by local developer Two Trees Management.