Riverside Park South Open Space Masterplan

new york, ny

client: riverside park south planning corporation

As part of an urban design collaborative with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill for this new 65 acre redevelopment, Thomas Balsley Associates led the design effort for the project’s centerpiece, a 26-acre waterfront park on the Hudson River. The effort involved urban design, environmental considerations and a highway relocation; and required a creative, yet pragmatic, approach that was responsive to intractable timetables, multi-agency comments, community participation, and client objectives.

The park plan provides a unique opportunity for the city’s westside residents to walk unobstructed through the park to the river. Park entry enclaves are enriched with sculptural elements, park portals and pavilions and offer accessible street level seating areas with dramatic views. Esplanades, boardwalks, marsh grasses, piers and intimate coves provide a variety of water edge experiences.

A sensitive balance of active and passive recreational opportunities such as game courts, ball fields, community gardens, interpretive stations, play areas, cafe terraces, public art, a turf amphitheater and open lawns reflect the diversity of New York City and its culture of recreation.

The design draws upon the tradition of Olmsted’s Riverside Park to the north and celebrates the site’s history by infusing both with a 21st century park experience.