Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects shared with us their design for the streetscape masterplan for Hudson Square in Manhattan, New York. Designed to transform the district’s public realm into a socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable neighborhood, the project will serve area workers and, eventually, residents. The masterplan creates a pedestrian-focused district accessible from all directions and adjacent neighborhoods—including SoHo, TriBeCa, and Greenwich Village—that coordinates the needs of the Holland Tunnel, a regional transportation facility, with those of the re-imagined neighborhood. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The firm was selected by the Hudson Square Business Improvement District (Hudson Square Connection) from among 23 teams comprising 100 companies to develop the project and to lead a group of design experts to implement it. The first phase of the project is estimated at $27M. Located in downtown Manhattan, Hudson Square is a former printing and publishing district bounded on the east by Sixth Avenue, the south by Canal Street, and the north by West Houston Street. Now an epicenter of the city’s dynamic creative industries, more than 35,000 professionals in communications, new media, and design companies work there.
The project improves existing connections and makes new ones to nearby Hudson River Park. Branding and defining the area’s new identity, the plan addresses streetscapes and traffic congestion on multiple levels. Public spaces will be beautified, including public art, and open spaces created to foster social interaction and provide spots for respite. Streets will be greened, traffic calmed, sidewalks reclaimed for pedestrians, and the retail environment enhanced. Stakeholder input was a vital aspect of the design process, which included extensive outreach meetings with the district’s end users that contributed significantly to the masterplan.
The plan will be implemented in phases as the area continues to grow and change, according to Signe Nielsen, principal of Mathews Nielsen and president of the Public Design Commission of the City of New York. “This project is an urban planner’s dream,” she said. “Not only are we creating catalytic improvements to transform the district on an immediate basis, we are also looking ahead to the future, devising ways to address escalating vehicular and foot traffic as the area develops.”
“The public realm of Hudson Square will soon reflect the creativity that defines the businesses in the neighborhood,” said Ellen Baer, president of the Hudson Square Connection. “The entire pedestrian experience will be enhanced and beautified to encourage social interaction, staying activities, safer street crossings and attract retailers to this growing neighborhood.”
Experts at urban revitalization, Mathews Nielsen has nine other multi-modal street projects in New York City alone, including the 125th Street Corridor, South Bronx Greenway, and Times Square Reconstruction. The first five projects in the initial phase of the Hudson Square Streetscape Improvement plan are expected to reach completion in 2017. Landscape Architects: Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects Location: Manhattan, New York, United States Urban Design: Rogers Marvel Architects Industrial Design: Billings Jackson Design Transportation Planning and Lighting Design: Arup Graphic Design: Open Surveyor: Mercator Land Surveying Cost Estimating: VJ Associates