West Harlem Piers Park and Masterplan
Partner, W Architecture and Landscape Architecture
New York City
2005 AIA National Honor Award for Regional & Urban Design
The West Harlem Piers Park is a dramatic transformation of New York City waterfront space that had been lost to the community for many years. Designed and built while Washburn was a partner at W Architecture and Landscape Architecture LLC with Barbara Wilks FAIA FASLA, the project transformed a narrow 69,000 sf strip parking lot along the Hudson River in Harlem into a 105,526 sf park that re-imagines the threshold between the city and the Hudson in a sustainable and meaningful way.
The project creates a gathering place on the Hudson to reconnect the residents to the water. Working closely with a strong group of community activists, our design team held a series of public meetings that resulted in a master plan for the adjacent 40 block area.
The park design is based on the natural interactions of river and land, taking the form of tides and sedimental movements. Elements of the park are scattered as if left by waves. The piers themselves follow land formation patterns as well, rather than historic pier configurations. At twilight, standing on the angled pier deep into the river, you ask yourself am I in the city now or in nature, and you realize the two are one.