Thomas Balsley Associates led the design for this twenty-three acre park as part of a collaborative effort with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill for a sixty-five acre redevelopment parcel along the Hudson River in Manhattan. The process involved working with local and state government agencies, community groups, stakeholders and the client to create a vibrant new public space that reintroduced the community to the water’s edge and responded to the unique industrial history and riparian ecology of the site. Riverside Park South features a series of special architectural structures and landscape spaces that vary in scale and highlight the experiential qualities of the park. Terraces, expansive lawns, architectural shade structures, recreation areas, lawn mounds, and intimate tree groves create viewing areas, spaces for play, and draw one down to the water’s edge or along the coastline. A circulation system of esplanades, boardwalks, footpaths, and bike paths tie the individual places together. Overlooks, terraced walls and a two hundred and fifty meter long pier take visitors out to and across the water. A new esplanade bridge sweeps out across the water and encircles a reconstructed wetland planted with native grasses. The design of the park is sensitive yet bold, inciting people to come to the river and explore the variety of experiences found here at the edge of New York.
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