West 8 Urban Design & Landscaping Awarded for Design of Park at Essex Crossing
The Mixed-Use Development Essex Crossing, which features a vibrant public park designed by West 8 and Beyer Blinder Belle, is the winner of the New York Urban Land Institute’s Excellence in Mixed Use Development Award.
The design delivers a calm, verdant, island within the urban fabric. The park design layers canopy and understory trees, swaths of woodland planting, and vine-covered vertical plantings to create a woodland garden in the city. At the southwest of the site, an interactive playground allows for boundless exploration and play.
Located in the heart of Manhattan’s historic Lower East Side, the nine-site Essex Crossing development is rising on six acres of formerly vacant land, representing one of the City’s most significant urban renewal projects. Phase 1 comprises four sites of the overall 1.9-million-square-foot mixed-use project, located on three different streets – Broome, Clinton, and Delancey. Essex Crossing exemplifies best practices in land use, incorporating a wide array of uses in limited space for residents with a broad range of incomes and ages. Born out of a resident-driven neighborhood planning process, Essex Crossing is the culmination of nearly 50 years of collaboration between the City of New York and the local community.
About the Design
The design for the Park at Essex Crossing provides a refined, shaded oasis in the heart of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. As the marquee park within the six-acre, 1.9 million square foot Essex Crossing Development (formerly SPURA), this park is poised to become an essential and beloved open space for the emerging neighborhood over the next decade.
One of the largest urban developments in the history of New York City, the Essex Crossing development will transform vacant lots and surface parking into a vibrant neighborhood with the Park, completed during phase 1, at its heart.
With a few simple moves, the Park at Essex Crossing delivers a calm, verdant, island within the urban fabric. An entirely native palette of trees and groundcovers are located in raised planters around a central open plaza. Picking up on the Lower East Side’s history of beloved urban gardens, the Park design layers canopy and understory trees, swaths of woodland planting, and vine-covered vertical plantings to create a woodland garden in the city. Meandering geometries and an oblong central gathering area gives the illusion and opportunities of a larger park, while also offering flexibility for small events and performances to occur simultaneously.
At the southwest of the site, younger visitors will discover a child-sized ravine to explore and climb, with challenging rope crossings allowing for boundless exploration and interactive play. Multifunctional planter edges offer seating throughout the park, with robust wooden details that are both comfortable and offer a soft antidote to the typical glass and steel of the city. A community table area at the Broome Street edge offers seating for larger groups or the opportunity for families to sit gather a table in the Park.
The Park at Essex Crossing is slated to open to the public in 2019.
Please visit the Essex Crossing website for more information.
About Adriaan Geuze
Adriaan Geuze is one of the founders of West 8, a leading urban design practice in Europe. Geuze attended the Agricultural University of Wageningen where he received a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture. After winning the prestigious Prix-de-Rome award in 1990, Geuze, with his office West 8 founded in 1987, established an enormous reputation on an international level with his unique approach to planning and design of the public environment. By founding the SLA Foundation (Surrealistic Landscape Architecture) in 1992, Geuze increased public awareness of his profession.
Adriaan Geuze and Edzo Bindels brought West 8 to the frontline of international urban design and landscape architecture. West 8 developed a technique of relating contemporary culture, urban identity, architecture, public space and engineering within one design, while always taking the context into account. Adriaan Geuze has extensive experience in directing Dutch and international teams on projects all over the world. Internationally respected as a professor in Architecture and Urban Design, Geuze frequently lectures and teaches at universities worldwide.
Amongst the numerous design awards that West 8 has won, such as the Dutch Maaskant Award in 1995 and the Rosa Barba First European Landscape prize in 2002, Adriaan Geuze was presented with the Veronica Rudge Green Prize for Urban Design from the Harvard Design School in 2002. In 2005 Geuze was recognized as a leader in his profession by being given the prestigious position of curator for the 2nd International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam. Recently Geuze and West 8 received the prestigious American Society of Landscape Architecture Honor Award 2009, AIA Institute Honor Award 2012 and the Lifetime Achievement Award 2011 from the BKVB, the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture. “The jury praised Geuze not only for the impressive projects he realized, but definitely also for the broad approach in which he applies his talents and the important role he plays in initiating discussion about spatial and environmental design”.
With West 8, Adriaan Geuze has been honoured with the success of winning various international design competitions such as Governor’s Island in New York, Playa de Palma in Mallorca and Toronto’s New Central Waterfront design in Canada.
About West 8
West 8 is an award-winning international office for urban design and landscape architecture, founded in 1987 with offices in Rotterdam, New York and Belgium. Over the last three decades West 8 has established itself as a leading practice with an international team of 70 architects, urban designers, landscape architects and industrial engineers. West 8’s New York office was established after winning an international design competition in 2006 for the design of Governors Island Park – a 172-acre island in the New York Harbor. Read more about the West 8 approach on their website.