One of the most dramatic features of the West 8 team’s design competition proposal was a set of new hills on the non-historic South Island constructed from recycled demolition debris and fill. The hills would radically change the landscape of the pancake-flat South Island and provide 360-degree views of the harbor and surrounding skylines. During the park master plan process, the West 8 team has been developing the hill concept further. Above is a gallery of photos taken from the top of a tall, non-historic building on the Island that shows (approximately) the view from the new hills. Below, West 8′s project manager, Jamie, describes some of the work they’re doing on the design of these hills . -EC
I love living in New York City: the sights and activity is a constant rush on the senses. But one of the things I love when I get away from the City is exercising my ‘long-range’ vision muscles and staring into a vast horizon and sky. Better yet, add the sparkling lights of a City and that’s a memory of a lifetime. That feeling is just part of the inspiration for the West 8 design team to make large hills in the Governors Island park design. After all, where else in New York City can you get 360 degree views of the City, the sky, the harbor … NOT from on top of a building?
It’s going to be an extraordinary experience –a totally new way to see the City and escape for a little reflection. And, unlike some observation decks, the view is free. During the park master plan process, we’ve been tackling some of the core design and engineering issues to make this real: how tall are the hills? How do people of all abilities get to the top? What is the engineering needed to construct them? The back and forth process between creating the ‘wow’ experience with the realities of constructability are the really fun parts of this design process.