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Governor's Island

Governor's Island Park and Public Space Master Plan New York, United States

Project timeline: 2006 - 2016
Client: The Trust for Governors Island
Scope: Park and Public Space Master Plan
Size: 87 acres
With: West 8 urban design & landscape architecture, p.c.
Claire Agre, Principal & Senior Landscape Architect
Partners: Rogers Marvel Architects, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects
Consultants: Magnusson Klemencic Associates, AKRF, Hart Crowser Inc., Pentagram, Tillotson Design Associates, Dagher Associates, Pine and Swallow Environmental, Northern Designs, Code Consulting Inc., Faithful & Gould, ETM Associates, Langan, Fluidity, Construction Specifications, Inc, Linda Stone, RPA
Awards & Recognition: Built by Women New York City Award, Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (2014), Honor Award, American Society of Landscape Architects ASLA (2012), Award for Excellence in Design, Public Design Commission of New York City (2012), Center for Architecture Foundation Award, The American Institute of Architects New York (2011), Merit Award, NY Chapter ASLA (2011), Open House New York Award, Open House New York (2011), Special Recognition Award, Municipal Art Society (2010), Special Citation, The American Institute of Architects, New York (2009), AIA NYC Honor Award ,The American Institute of Architects, New York (2008), Green Around Downtown Award, Alliance for Downtown New York (2008)

The Governors Island Park and Public Space Master Plan proposes a dramatic transformation of this once-abandoned island, accentuating the historic qualities of this unique place while transforming Governors Island into a resilient and iconic public park that embraces the island’s rugged sensibility.

Developed from the winning entry of a 2006 design competition, the vision for the park was developed into a richly conceived and feasible 87-acre Master Plan that has catalyzed the island’s redevelopment. Phase 1 of Governors Island created 30 acres of new park space and adds key visitor amenities to the historic North Island.

The design team spent hundreds of hours on the island, in all types of weather and seasons, to study micro and macro site conditions. The team understood from the outset that the new park would need to be resilient in the face of rising waters. Rather than withdrawing, we lifted the majority of the island out of the flood zone. Tree species have been planted according to their salt tolerance and topsoil is placed above predicted sea level rise, protecting their roots and ensuring a healthy forest for the future. These measures to address rising sea levels and more intense storms proved to be worthwhile as the island withstood Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

The Governors Island Park and Public Space Master Plan creates a unique landscape destination for New York City, connecting visitors with the salt winds, swirling waters, and expansive harbor views while ensuring a resilient public landscape for future generations.

Parkclaire agre