West Harlem Piers Park
The design of the new waterfront park embraces the 125th St corridor as the main street of Harlem by accenting that diagonal view corridor as it pierces the waterfront, extending arms out into the water in order to restore this north Manhattan neighborhood’s connection to the river. The arms hold two piers, framing the view out from the shore. The space between these arms is a cove, a slightly lowered open space, which acts as a casual amphitheater for community gatherings. A woodland rises to the north, providing a lookout and shaded spot for sitting and viewing the water. The bikepath edges the park, leaving the shoreline for more slowly paced recreation. The design is based on the idea of the valley form as a place for deposits. This deposition leaves multiple elements scattered and sorted by size as if left by waves. The elements include massive granite benches (reusing granite blocks from the bulkhead), segments of lawn, and triangular planters. The piers themselves follow the land formation patterns as well, rather than historic pier configurations and provide various water-related activities including fishing, excursion boating, ferry service, ecological awareness, and general recreation. The design evokes the dynamic interaction of land and water and their overlapping ecologies. Imaginative reuse of urban materials creates diverse spaces for recreational activities, social gatherings, and private reveries Today, art, people, water, and city merge in a spectacular urban park reorienting the center of Harlem and repositioning it as a major landmark of the city’s shoreline

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