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What if ... ... The trains connected our city parks, would the “concrete jungle” embrace nature? ... the city with the world’s most famous skyline, also provided the best quality of life? ... the subway left you in the middle of the east river, would you take time to gaze at the sky?


with the educational

Henry Smith Miller In the Fall of 2011

guidance of


Brooklyn Bridge Park

‘Brooklyn Bridge Park_ Urban Nature


Brooklyn Bridge Park

Referred as a ‘city within a city’, Central Park, is an urban park design to alleviate the chaotic nature of the city. The size limitation, requires this park to be very precise on the distribution of program, including nature.

On the edge of the city, Brooklyn bridge park, is perfectly positioned to enjoy fresh air with the city as a backdrop.

A day in the country, well not really, but prospect park is as close as you will get while still in the city.

The studio investigated the repurposing of one of Brooklyn’s most important waterfront. This waterfront served for years as a place of commerce, importing and exporting goods throughout the world. Consequently, becoming a significant transportation terminal and entry point for immigrants. This waterfront also became an artistic and activist center. currently, the waterfront has been repurposed as a public park providing amenities/activities for the family and individual, as well as, millions of tourist that come to enjoy a view of lower Manhattan. This along with the unique stacking of the BQE (BrooklynQueens Expressway), The Brooklyn Promenade and the location of four train lines below this park has the potential to make this a transportation Hub and a connecting point

between Manhattan and Brooklyn and the major city parks located in each, Central Park and Prospect Park. This park has become a part of the story of the city, a moment of reflection on the city itself. The studio guidelines were to consider the waterfront park design (which was already proposed) and to expand or redesign on the existing design based on our understanding of the site. Captivated by the way different modes of transportation traverse each other yet don’t really interact and desiring to capitalize on the existing systems in place, this investigation really considers the connection of these systems and the opportunity they offer to expand the activities already taking place on the park. The primary purpose of this investigation was to understand how a series of


Brooklyn Bridge Park


Brooklyn Bridge Park CASE STUDY ONE: The Path/ Landscape Building: Connecting the ferry to the Subway System CASE STUDY TWO: The Clip: Connecting the Brooklyn Promanade with the Brooklyn Bridge park. CASE STUDY THREE: The floating platform: Connecting the ferry to the Subway System. Brooklyn Bridge Park has the potential to become a major transportation hub. Within its limited area are four different train lines, two prominent and frequently visited bridges and the less commonly used water taxis in addition the Brooklyn and queens highway.

A collection of recreational activities. The park accommodates a socially correct array of sporting fields and courts. The winding path connects these sporting fields while elongating the experience. Predominantly, navigated at three different speeds: The walker, the runner, the biker.

Uniquely located at the intersection of multiple transportation systems., Brooklyn Bridge park has become one of the most visited parks in NYC. This transformed pier offers an expierence of Manhattan that could not be gotten from Central Park or Prospect Park. This park is for the observer.


Brooklyn Bridge Park

Case Study 1. A pathway. An inner court building which allows for circulation to be at the perimeter of the structure and a semi-private inner court would allow for a variaty of programs ranging from theaters to lectures. The building could be learning/education center or gallery space. Seasonal change in climate, would affect the use and program of the building. One proposal could be a green garden, alternating panel system would allow for the entire building to open up. A funtional roof, could combine the pathway with a roof garden, funtionally adding to the experience of the visitors which still maintains the feel of the park area.

Case Study 2. The Platform. A connection to the subway could transform this area into a major transportation hub. The direct connecting from the train to the water taxi, which travels up and down the east river is almost entirely unexplored. In addition the water taxi could be used travel up and down the park, adding to the collections of activities already taking place there. The open hall, has a flexible program. One that explores using the park as a place for robust discourse and social change. Just as easily the hall could be seen as a public pool directly connected to the subway and from which you could board a boat and continue on your way.

Case Study 3. The Clip. The connection from the Brooklyn Promenade to Brooklyn bridge park (a similar condition from the bridges to the park). This structure negotiates the height difference from the park to Brooklyn Heights (seperated by the Highway). Exploring an interior program of a gym, which the people using the promonade could enter and use, specially during the winter. The tower could also be used by visitors as an observation tower. The Roof and facades, could be functional if used as a collection of energy through solar panels or even a oxygen fabricator through a panel that uses “photosynthesis“ to generate oxygen.


Brooklyn Bridge Park

Section of case study 1: the Clip infrastructure could not only encourage but also generate a secondary program to our common public space. These ideas include ‘How to integrate education within this parks and the effect it would have on the surrounding communities?’ Others revolved around ‘how technology could create awareness of the practical purpose of our urban parks, as well as, how technology could begin to integrate with nature?’ Responding to the physical and climatic conditions of the site, the structure must adapt within its environment to become as self-sufficient

as possible, as a park’s most important responsibility is low maintenance and symbiotic relationship with nature. Case Study #1 looks at forging a physical connection between Brooklyn Heights, BQE, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the subway station. Ultimately the location and design also forge a unique visual connection to Manhattan as you navigate through space. Programmatically expanding on the Brooklyn Promenade, the structure would be a public amenity of fitness. Similar to a lifeguard tower that occurs occasionally on the beach or to those fitness trail equipment


Brooklyn Bridge Park

View from Brooklyn Bridge Park

Render images: case study two


Brooklyn Bridge Park

Section of case study 2: the Platform

Section of case study 1: the Pathway installed near jogging paths, this case study could repeat on the promenade or on other places with a similar condition. Case Study #2 Looks to form a physical connection between the subway station, The East River, Brooklyn Bridge, and ferry. This project also forms a visual connection with the sky, reminiscent of the Oculus found in the pantheon(Rome), the sky is the main focus as you exit the station and continue on your journey through the park. Case study #3 looks at the park, and how this structure could seamlessly integrate

within this system. The structure is located on the pier, however, its form generated to integrate within the existing pathway of the park, this would allow for the walker, cyclist or runner to proceed on their park experience while also providing public spaces that could generate other activities such as public performance, movie nights, etc. The connection between the park and the subway station is again continued here, allowing the person to experience directly exiting the station into nature.


Special Thanks to Henry Smith Miller

June 2018

Inter-mediator_ Issue 2: Brooklyn Bridge Park  

Cornell University- Design Studio Fall 2011

Inter-mediator_ Issue 2: Brooklyn Bridge Park  

Cornell University- Design Studio Fall 2011