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Brooklyn Bridge Park: What a Design by O'Neill McVoy + NVda Says About the State of Architecture

In Mark Foster Gage’s essay “Rot Munching Architects,” published in Perspecta 47: Money, the Assistant Dean of the Yale School of Architecture strove to find meaning in the current design landscape. Taking the essay title from a larger stream of expletives spun across the facade of the Canadian pavilion as part of artist Steven Shearer’s installation at the 54th Venice Art Biennale in 2011, Gage found truth in the vulgarities, arguing that - in a very literal sense - “architectural experimentation has left the building” as the discipline has been made impotent under the hostage of late capitalist ambition.

Last summer, when Brooklyn Bridge Park unveiled 14 proposals as finalists for two residential towers at the park's controversial pier 6 site, you could be fooled into thinking that design is alive and well. A caveat of the park’s General Project Plan (GPP) was to set aside land for retail, residential and a hotel development, in order to secure funding and achieve financial autonomy. The plans had already fueled a decade of legal battles and fierce opposition from the local community, with arguments ranging from the environment, to park aesthetics, to money-making schemes, but last year a bright outcome appeared a possibility, when the park unveiled the competing plans including those by Asymptote Architecture, BIG, Davis Brody Bond, Future Expansion + SBN Architects, WASA Studio, and of particular interest, O’Neill McVoy Architects + NV/design architecture (NVda).

Harbor Pair and Pedestrian Bridge. Image Courtesy of O'Neill McVoy Architects View from Manhattan. Image Courtesy of O'Neill McVoy Architects Garden Spiral Tower. Image Courtesy of O'Neill McVoy Architects Brooklyn Waterfront. Image Courtesy of O'Neill McVoy Architects

ODA Unveils Plans for Brooklyn Bridge Park Residential Towers

Details have been released on a new residential project designed by ODA Architecture at Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York. Occupying two waterfront sites in the Pier 6 uplands development area, the project will include two10,000-square-foot buildings focused on affordable housing, community development and preserving the surrounding parkland.

Fourteen Tower Proposals Unveiled for Controversial Brooklyn Bridge Park Development

New York City have released images of fourteen tower proposals as part of a controversial scheme to bring affordable housing to the 85 acre Brooklyn Bridge Park, originally designed by Michael van Valkenburgh and realised in 2004. The schemes, designed to be located on “two coveted development sites” on Pier 6, have been actively met with strong opposition from local community members. The park and surrounding area has seen a number of interesting recent regeneration proposals, from an 11,000ft² beach beneath the Brooklyn Bridge to a triangular pier proposed by BIG. Read on to see the proposals in detail, including those by AsymptotePelli Clarke Pelli, Davis Brody Bond, and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG).

Asymptote Architecture´s proposal. Image Courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation via Architects Newspaper Pelli Clarke Pelli's proposal. Image Courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation via Architects Newspaper BIG´s + Alloy Design's proposal. Image Courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation via Architects Newspaper WASA Studio's proposal. Image Courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation via Architects Newspaper

BIG Designs Pier 6 Viewing Platform for Brooklyn's Waterfront

Courtesy of BIG
Courtesy of BIG

Following the news that Studio V Architecture has been commissioned to convert the 19th century Empire Stores, next to Brooklyn Bridge, into 380,000 square-feet of office, restaurant and commercial space, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has unveiled designs for "a flowering meadow with seasonal grasses, a sprawling field and a triangular wooden viewing platform" close by.

Reviving Brooklyn's Waterfront, 19th Century Warehouses Evolve Into 21st Century Hubs

After fifty years of neglect the Empire Stores, located next to the Brooklyn Bridge, are now the most coveted waterfront property in New York. Midtown Equity has partnered with Studio V Architecture to adaptively reuse the 19th-century coffee warehouse into 380,000 square-feet of office, restaurant and commercial space, highlighted by a Brooklyn-centric cultural museum. "After the Brooklyn Bridge," says Joe Cayre, Chairman of Midtown Equities, "the Civil War era Empire Stores are the most iconic structures on the Brooklyn waterfront. As a Brooklyn native who raised my family in the borough, it is an honor for my firm to be chosen for the redevelopment of the Empire Stores."

Learn more after the break...

New York Announces Plans to Build Brooklyn Bridge Beach

NYDaily News reports that the New York City Council has allocated $7 million to redevelop a 11,000 square foot swath of forgotten land into a beautiful, sandy beach beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. Originally conceived as part of New York’s “Blueway” plan, the waterfront project will grant access to terraced seating, wading pools and fishing areas, along with a kayak launch and concession stand via tree-lined walkways. See what else the “Blueway” entails, here on ArchDaily. 

Update: Jean Nouvel Jewelbox Houses Historic Carousel in NYC

© Roland Halbe
© Roland Halbe

Since it’s opening on September 16th, the Jean Nouvel acrylic encasement and historic Jane’s Carousel has become a landmark in the heart of Brooklyn Bridge Park for New York families. The welcoming public pavilion offers spectacular views of the East River, the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, and the Manhattan skyline.

Continue reading for more detailed information and images.