West 8 Team Wins Governors Island

TreeHugger previously covered the competition to design a park on Governors Island in ::Fantasy Island: Imagining a Park in New York and noted at the time that we thought the funkiest and most interesting scheme was from the team of Diller Scofidio & Renfro, Rogers Marvel Architects, West 8, Quennell Rothschild & Partners and SMWM, with its climbing walls and "what TreeHugger could resist the promise that "Three thousand free wooden bikes would allow for rapid circumnavigation on looping, leafy paths. "

We called it right; Yesterday it was announced that the design won, and Mayor Bloomberg said "It is one of the jewels of our city, We couldn't have a better location. Now it's up to us to do it."

New York Times Architectural critic Nicolai Ouroussoff says:

The park's informal landscape of undulating hills and voluptuous marshes is a refreshing departure from the crass commercialism that infects so many public projects today. At the same time, the designers have avoided tired period elements like cobblestone paths and bishop's crook lampposts.

Although still in the early design stages, it could well become the most inspired public park built here in generations." ::New York Times

Robert Oullette of ReadingCities wrote earlier this year about the park's importance and promise:

Instead of a gateway to a land green with promise, the island archipelago of New York now risks becoming a gateway to a nation in environmental decline. Even oil barons know we are at a turning point. The American continent that once nutured dreams of prosperity is in peril. Cities and their users have to change - and they know it.

Can we start again — here, where we began? Can we build a sustainable America?

The island could be for urban sustainability what Silicon Valley is for high technology — a center where the best and brightest gather to solve complex problems. Imagine the whole of Governors Island as a 21st century laboratory for the development of sustainable cities (and, of course, a sustainable New York). It would house a human enterprise on the scale of the Manhattan Project but dedicated to life not death. There is also the advantage of having the world's greatest urban test-bed just across the harbor.

What would it look like? When urban designers get the job of imagining a Governors Island of the future, they must acknowledge that this is not just another green-field site waiting to be planted with so much architectural stuff. These 172 acres need a grand vision. ::Reading Toronto

It appears that's what New York got: a grand vision. ::New York Times