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Published: Saturday, January 12, 2008

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Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park

Designed by Machado and Silvetti Associates, Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park occupies a unique site, characterized by its relatively small area located at the center of colossal surroundings (such as the immense scales of Hudson River and New York's skyline).

By: Machado and Silvetti Associates

Architecture-Page | Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park by Machado and Silvetti Associates
Overall view of front lawn, ©Machado and Silvetti Associates.

Words from the Architect

This project occupies a unique site, characterized by its relatively small area located at the center of colossal surroundings (such as the immense scales of Hudson River and New York's skyline). This spectacular site is dedicated to public recreation. The main function of this public place is the privileged viewing of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor. Two points, one at the center of the Statue of Liberty's base and a second at the intersection of two rectilinear coastal edges at the site's tip, determine the park's geometric axis.

Architecture-Page | Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park by Machado and Silvetti Associates
View of Statue of Liberty from park bench, ©Machado and Silvetti Associates.

The design of the park comprises three main components: a pair of allees that brings pedestrians to the main park entrance; a pair of pavilions connected by a bridge; and a lawn terrace framed by continuous paths and benches. This "Y" shaped architectural ensemble structures the surrounding gardens.

Architecture-Page | Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park by Machado and Silvetti Associates
View of waterfront at dusk, ©Jim Knight.

The pavilions are conceived as a massive masonry wall split in the center, framing the view to the Statue. This formation creates a pair of large public steps that bring the public up to balconies overlooking the lawn and harbor. Eighteen feet above the ground, this upper level is the truly significant public situation on the park. From the center of the bridge connecting the two balconies, the viewer's relation to the Statue of Liberty is "face to face."

Credits

  • Text by Machado and Silvetti Associates
  • Photographs by Jim Knight and Machado and Silvetti Associates, Courtesy of Machado and Silvetti Associates

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