CIVITAS, the organizer of the Reimagining the Waterfront, has announced the winners of the ideas competition for the design of the East River Esplanade between 60th and 125th in New York City bound by the East River to the East and the FDR Drive to the west. Joseph Wood of New Jersey, USA; Takuma Ono and Darina Zlateva of New York City, USA and Matteo Rossetti of Italy claimed first, second and third prize respectively. The competition aspires to bring to new and fresh ideas to the conversation about this waterfront, which over the years has had many issues of disrepair. Anyone who has attempted to bike down this path can appeal to just how unpleasant it can be – massive potholes that take up the whole path, traffic rushing by just a foot away just beyond a shoulder (which is not provided everywhere) and cobbled paths that create a bumpy ride. The proximity to the East River, and the views of Randall’s Island, Queens, Roosevelt Island and the Queensboro Bridge are its saving grace.
There have already been many talks about the state of the East River Esplanade, particularly that it stops abruptly at East 53rd street at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge and starts up again around East 38th street. Last summer MAS, an organization in NYC that advocates for intelligent urban planning, design and preservation, hosted a day-long charette to design an esplanade along the ConEd piers located between East 38th and East 41st Streets. MAS appealed to the community for ideas for “The Next Great NYC Waterfront” and worked alongside W Architecture and Landscape Architecture to produce a report, which can be found here. With CIVITAS’s competition, the issues are again acknowledged to continue brainstorming the future of the waterfront.
The Architect’s Newspaper reviewed the competition winners in an article by Tom Stoelker, which are imaginative and considered. The proposals of the winners and honorable mentions will be exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York between June 6th and September 2012 which will give the public access to some possibilities for the future of the East River Esplanade.
Join us after the break for more on the proposals.