Reimagining the Waterfront: Manhattan's East River Esplanade

We hope to establish greater equality with other New York City waterfront parks by developing a spatially rich and varied scheme that will enhance the east river waterfront’s narrow confines with recognition of its total urban context.

Category Idea Competition / Open to Students
Type International, Idea, Open, Single-Stage, Anonymous
Genre Urban, Waterfront
Country New York, United States
RegDeadline 15 January 2012 GoogleCal iCal
15 January 2012 (via Online)
Eligibility All

The northern section of the East River Esplanade follows the edge of Manhattan’s densely inhabited residentialneighborhoods, from 60th Street in Midtown to 125th Street in Harlem. It currently features a bicycle path, trees, shrubs and benches but suffers from age and deterioration as well as limited planning. It is extremely narrow in most places, awkwardly configured in others and is not yet designed for recreational waterfront activities. The Esplanade has unique and excellent potential: it links well-situated and underused open spaces, underused historic docks and several pedestrian bridges. It is ripe for bold, innovative and coherent ideas.
This site has unique potential because of proximity to heavily populated areas with limited park space, its riverfront location and its arresting views. Already this narrow strip of land provides a venue for biking, running and dog walking as well as for quiet time dedicated to fishing, reading, or watching the tides and boats. Across the water visitors can see bridges, a lighthouse, glass towers, historic structures, and the everchanging swirling tidal patterns of the East River and the Harlem River. Although the park has minimal amenities such as trees, shrubs, benches and lights, we seek new ideas for a compelling design, including improvements that would allow additional activities: boat renting, purchasing food, feeding ducks, sitting and walking closer to the water in more varied and alluring surroundings. Contestants should think freely about bold design concepts, new ideas and additional activities.

Al Butzel, Principal, Albert K. Butzel Law Offices
Warren James, Principal, Warren A. James Architects + Planners
Hon. William Castro, Manhattan Borough Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
Signe Nielsen, FASLA Principal, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects
Rob Rogers, FAIA, Partner, Rogers Marvel Architects
Jack Travis, FAIA, Principal, Jack Travis Architects
Billie Tsien, AIA, Principal, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects
Adam Yarinsky, FAIA LEED AP, Principal & Co-Founder, Architecture Research Office (ARO)

FIRST: $5,000
SECOND: $3,000
THIRD: $2,000

Entry Fee
One-year complimentary membership to CIVITAS included (one per entry fee).

Up to four pages PDF(24” x 36”) including a text statement of 250 words or less

Winners announced: Late February, 2012


Official Website