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Thread: Governors Island

  1. #511


    The concept is cool enough but won't this be a liability nightmare?

  2. #512


    One of the morning shows was here today. There are 50 hammocks scattered about, which is really cool for cracking open a book, or staring at the sky.

    They also have an area with giant logs connected together that adults and kids can climb around without the adults feeling like pedophiles. Just nice relaxing space.

  3. #513
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    Pictorial> The Hills come alive on Governors Island

    Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    By Audrey Wachs

    View from the path leading up to Outlook Hill (Audrey Wachs / AN)

    Standing near the top of Outlook Hill, Leslie Koch, president of The Trust for Governors Island, explained the reason for commissioning four huge earth mounds on an island in the middle of New York Harbor. “Most New Yorkers don’t experience that fancy view [of the skyline]. You don’t get to see the city on high from the city that created views.” The Hills, part of a $220 million renovation of Governors Island, do create new ways of viewing the city and its surroundings.

    Renderings of the Hills on Governors Island (Courtesy NYC Mayor’s Office)

    Landscape architecture firm West 8 was selected in 2007 to produce a master plan for Governors Island that included redesigns of the entire former military facility. Construction of the Hills began in 2013. Design was preceded by extensive on-site observation: the design team, led by Adriaan Geuze and Jamie Maslyn, spent hundreds of hours observing how visitors used the space.

    Maslyn noted that, for example, adults were using the swing sets intended for children. Discovery and play, consequently, are two themes that predominate in the realized design.

    To get to the site, visitors pass through a 40 acre welcome area. The space is meant for slow-paced leisure: reading, napping in hammocks, meandering through flower beds. The topography here creates a threshold for the rest of the site.

    Hammocks (Audrey Wachs / AN)

    Approached from the welcome area, the four hills rise smoothly from the level base of the island. Bright white concrete edging, to Geuze, “paints the topography more dramatically” and differentiates between fast and slow spaces. There is no main, or suggested, path to approach the hills. The paths fork in equally appealing directions, affording glimpses of the Statue of Liberty, lower Manhattan, or the Verrazano, depending on which way one turns. The hills obscure and reveal these sites gently, manipulating the horizon dramatically while accommodating a range of programs. Ranging in height from 25 to 70 feet, the names of the hills—Outlook, Slide, Discovery, and Grassy—correspond with their most salient feature. “Each of the hills,” Koch noted, “embodies one of the attributes New Yorkers love about the island.”

    A zigzag path takes visitors up to the apex of Outlook Hill, 70 feet above ground. The vantage point afforded by the new topography allows visitors to see, standing still, the East and Hudson Rivers, Buttermilk Channel, New York Harbor, and the mouth of the Atlantic. The design team was intent upon creating a way for people of all ages and abilities to experience this view. All of the paved paths are at a maximum 4.5 percent slope: ADA compliant and wheelchair friendly. Granite blocks, harvested from the island’s 1905 sea wall, create scrambles up the hillside to engage young people (or adventurous adults). Adjacent Slide Hill (40 feet high) will feature elements of pure play: four long slides. Discovery Hill (40 feet) will host a permanent installation by sculptor Rachel Whiteread, while Grassy Hill (25 feet) will be a place to relax on a sloping lawn.

    (Audrey Wachs / AN)

    Governors Island’s exposed location makes it vulnerable to the effects of both normal and extreme weather. To prevent the hills from shifting, settlement plates were planted at the base of the hills to measure changes in elevation. Molly Bourne, principal at Mathews Nielsen, vetted plants on their ability to withstand salt spray and high winds. Sumac and oak trees (around 860), as well as 43,000 maritime shrubs, will adapt to harsh conditions on the island. Storm resiliency is an integral feature of the design. Post-Sandy, 2.2 miles of sea wall, erected in 1905, were replaced in 2014 by a more modern fortification. Some of the pieces were repurposed as infill, along with an imploded building and a parking lot on the site of the Hills. In all, 25 percent of the fill is from the island, while the rest of was delivered via barge down the Hudson.

    While the Hills’ official public opening is set for 2017, the site is open for previews on September 26th and 27th. Details here.

  4. #514


    November 6, 2015

    Watch How Designers Re-engineered an Island to Make a Park in New York City

    By Michael Hession

    Parks aren’t always built just so we can enjoy the trees. On Governor’s Island in New York City, a truly unique public space will bring nature back to a former military base–and it’s engineered to withstand the catastrophic storms that climate change will bring. It’s called The Hills, and in this documentary, we talk to one of its principle designers.

    I was given an extensive tour of The Hills by Jamie Maslyn Larson. She works at a company called West 8, which specializes in urban design and landscape architecture. At first glance, The Hills is exactly what it sounds like. The park is made up of sculpted, textured mounds overlooking New York harbor, perfect for climbing and frolicking visitors. But the park’s playful terrain is also functional, protecting the island against rising sea levels.

    It’s fascinating to hear how Larsen and her colleagues made the park happen, engineering every natural space down to the last grain of sand. Take a tour with us in this documentary, and watch the park taking shape. The Hills will open to the public in 2016.

  5. #515


    May 31, 2016

    Sneak Peek: The Hills Of Governors Island & The Longest Slide In NYC

    By Jen Carlson

    Governors Island is now open for the season, but their new rolling hills will remain closed to the public until July 19th. We got a sneak peek of the area last week, however (thanks to an Atlas Obscura tour), which we hadn't visited since it was just a pile of rubble.

    The Hills—a section in the works for years now—features slopes up to 70-feet high, all with different names: Slide Hill, Outlook Hill, Grassy Hill, and Discover Hill. While the main attraction is the sweeping views of the city—including the Statue of Liberty, the Harbor, and the Lower Manhattan skyline—there's also a lush landscape to picnic upon, a permanent installation by British artist Rachel Whiteread, and a rocky wall of slides.

    While there are slides of various lengths and widths, Slide Hill most notably boasts the longest slide in New York City—at least, that's what we're told—measuring 57-feet long and 3 stories tall.

    © 2003-2016 Gothamist LLC. All rights reserved.

  6. #516
    Forum Veteran
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    Feb 2008
    New York City


    Quote Originally Posted by Merry View Post
    People Will Be Able To Cross Buttermilk Channel By Foot Again
    I don't think this temporary floating bridge project ever got off the ground, but it would be cool if they every built a permanent walkway with a drawbridge for ship traffic

  7. #517

  8. #518
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Hell's Kitchen


    So it's been 13 years since the federal government conveyed the deed to Governors Island to the city, and there is not a single hotel, commercial, or educational tenant as envisioned in the original plan. NYU and City College both passed on using the buildings for campuses, since they're so isolated and dead when there's no residential community. Nearly all of the buildings are still empty. Why is it, again, that these empty buildings (which were originally built as residences) cannot be used as housing in a city with an acute housing shortage? How is that ethical?

  9. #519


    Quote Originally Posted by Hamilton View Post
    So it's been 13 years since the federal government conveyed the deed to Governors Island, .........Nearly all of the buildings are still empty. Why is it, again, that these empty buildings (which were originally built as residences) cannot be used as housing in a city with an acute housing shortage? How is that ethical?
    Beauraticatic bumbling and indecision in the very least; or perhaps corruption at the very worst. Either way, it is a shame; those buildings, and the island itself, needs to be put to better use - it been way to long a wait.

  10. #520
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    New York City


    Apartments would definitely turbocharge the progress & development of GI. They should put together an infrastructure plan and auction off lots to developers

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