Despite its location off the southern tip of Manhattan, Governors Island was invisible to most New Yorkers for almost two centuries. The realization of Phase 1 of new park creates 30 acres of public space and adds key visitor amenities to the historic North Island. Surrounded by water, Governors Island embraces the ecology, history, culture, and beauty of the Harbor. Welcoming almost half a million visitors in 2014 Governors Island has emerged as a major festival and event space, and a weekend destination.
West 8’s design for the Island is based upon five core principles: 1. Transformation through topography; 2. Island like no other; 3. Carefree island; 4. Sustainable and feasible design; 5. Ideas from New Yorkers. These principles are rooted in a deep understanding of the Island’s inherent attributes and its potential as a resource for the entire region. Because Governors Island has become a summer playground for New Yorkers over the last several years, the design is informed by an appreciation of how real people experience and enjoy the Island.
Innovative measures to address rising sea levels and climate change are also incorporated into West8’s design strategy. New topography, which lifts majority of the Island out of the 100 year flood zone, resulted in it surviving Superstorm Sandy unscathed. Phase 1 is the first step of a longer-term strategy that seeks to enliven the Island with new tenants and engage the wider community. In addition to a revitalized and resilient landscape, a vibrant program adds a freewheeling and improvisational component to the design, which embraces the broadest (and actual) definition of culture. West 8's design for Phase 1 addresses environmental realities, the historical memory of the island, and the opportunity for art to enhance and expand the visitor experience, resulting in a dynamic waterfront community and public space.
Credits: - Fluidity Design (Water Feature Designer) - Code Consulting Inc. (Code Consultants) - Mathews Nielsen landscape architects (Associate Landscape Architect) - Dagher Associates (MEP Engineer) - Pentagram (Signage and Wayfinding) - Faithful & Gould (Cost Estimator) - Pine and Swallow Environmental (Soils Consultant) - AKRF (Local Civil Engineer) - Hart Crowser Inc. (Geotechnical Engineer) - Langan (Surveyors of Record) - Construction Specifications, Inc. (Specification Consultants) - Linda Stone, RPA (Archaeological Consultants) - Magnusson Klemencic Associates (Lead Civil Engineer) - Northern Designs (Irrigation Consultants) - ETM Associates (Operations and Maintenance)