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.
Bjarke Ingels comments: “The Mantaray is a small public platform at the end of the pier - equally accessible above and below. Its namesake organic slopes and curves have been shaped by concerns for accessibility, safety, shelter, structure - like a manmade reef evolved to accommodate human life.”
The design will provide Brooklyn's waterfront with an elevated, manta ray-inspired platform on the undeveloped northern corner of Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Located near a future beach, originally conceived as part of New York's Blueway plan, the "stepped and undulating" structure will be able to operate as an outdoor auditorium for both small and large-scale events, becoming "a perch from which to look not just over the harbor but also back at Brooklyn." According to architectural critic Michael Kimmelman, Bjarke Ingels has described the point at which the platform tapers to a 17.5 foot high point at the end of the platform as the design's "Titanic moment" (referencing a scene from the movie).
“This spectacular structure will provide much-needed shade and a unique space for public events, while offering a dramatic ascent to the water’s edge,” said Regina Myer, President of Brooklyn Bridge Park. “We are so pleased with the collaboration between Michael Van Valkenburgh’s landscape design for the southern portion of the park, and Bjarke Ingels’ design for a breathtaking architectural addition that provides a truly special moment on the waterfront.”
BIG was selected as winner of the project in Spring 2013. The collaboration between MVVA and BIG has evolved into a fruitful partnership where pavilion and landscape design inform and inspire each other. The project won the unanimous approval of the Community Board’s executive committee, as well as from the city’s Public Design Commission.
Partner In ChargeBjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen
Project LeaderIannis Kandyliaris
Project ManagerMartin Voelkle
TeamHo Kyung Lee, David Spittler, Dennis Harvey, Isshin Morimoto
CollaboratorsMichael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Knippers Helbig, Tilotson Design Associates, AltieriSeborWieber, Pantocraft, Formactiv
ClientBrooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy
PhotographsCourtesy of BIG