New York’s iconic Central Park was designed in 1858 by F.L Olmsted and C. Vaux, having been chosen in a competition against 32 other entries. The competition called for the design of a park including a parade ground, fountain, watchtower, skating arena, four cross streets, and room for an exhibition hall.
Of the 32 alternative entries, only one survives to this day. The sole survivor was drawn up park engineer John J. Rink. To give an indication as to how Rink’s plan would have aged in the Big Apple, NeoMam Studios and Budget Direct have published a set of visualizations derived from the design. Find out below what one of the world’s most iconic green spaces could have looked like if a 160-year-old decision had been different.
Rink’s proposal was divided into symmetrical shapes that rose and dipped according to the topography. Described as a “folk-art fantasy of Versailles” in reference to the landscaped French palace, the park’s open spaces “disappear beneath Rink’s spiraling tree-lined alleys.”
Rink’s inspiration from French landscaping is also demonstrated through the symmetry and tranquility of space derived from water and reflections. A large reservoir is flanked by the imposing “Cronton Lake” and a parade ground representing the scheme’s only open land.
160 years on, Central Park continues to be a focal point for New York’s most impressive architectural proposals, such as DFA’s idea for the world’s tallest wooden structure floating on the park’s lake, and adjacent schemes such as SHoP’s supertall 111 Est 57th Street, and Jean Nouvel’s One Central Park.
News via: Budget Direct