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Four elegant and resilient Brooklyn spaces receive NYC’s Excellence in Design awards

May 11, 2017 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The subtle and elegant Double Sun by Mary Temple, at McCarren Park Play Center. Photos courtesy of the NYC Design Commission

Four Brooklyn spaces have been honored as outstanding examples of design in the city’s 35th Annual Awards for Excellence in Design.

Brooklyn’s winners include the Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center, the archway “Double Sun” at the McCarren Park Play Center, the Waterfront Nature Walk at the Newtown Creek Water Pollution Control Plant and Dock 72 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Projects across the city, such as the reconstruction of Downtown Far Rockaway in Queens, the NYPD’s Bomb Squad Building and the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s new Woodside Facility, were also recognized.

The awards are given by the city’s Public Design Commission. The winning designs were announced Thursday by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, Commission President Signe Nielsen, and Commission Executive Director Justin Moore. The awards are part of the annual NYCxDESIGN event.

“The best public projects are purposeful and use design to build a sense of community and civic pride,” de Blasio said in a release. He said this year’s winning projects emphasize resiliency and “will help build a stronger, more equitable city and improve services and recreational activities.”

The winners

The Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center at 107 Norman Avenue, a project of the Brooklyn Public Library, was designed by Marble Fairbanks Architects and SCAPE Landscape Architecture.

The new structure replaces an outdated, smaller one-story library, providing space for the exploration of the environment. An outdoor plaza offers a public space that includes native plants, glaciated rock outcroppings and two rooftop gardens.

Detail from Double Sun by Mary Temple, at McCarren Park Play Center.

Double Sun by Mary Temple, at McCarren Park Play Center, 776 Lorimer Street, is a project of the Department of Cultural Affairs’ Percent for Art Program and the Department of Parks & Recreation.

Part of McCarren Park Pool’s dramatic archway entrance, Mary Temple’s paintings appear to be bright shards of light with shadows of nearby trees. However, the shadows are actually translations of Juneberry, Hawthorn, and other local trees.

The title, Double Sun, is a reference to the dual passages of light, an impossibility, and also alludes to “the childlike wish for never-ending summer days.”

The Waterfront Nature Walk by George Trakas.

Waterfront Nature Walk by George Trakas (Quennell Rothschild & Partners), at the Newtown Creek Water Pollution Control Plant, 329 Greenpoint Avenue is a project of the Department of Cultural Affairs’ Percent for Art Program, the Department of Design and Construction and the Department of Environmental Protection.

Located along Newtown Creek and Whale Creek, the Waterfront Nature Walk revives a long-inaccessible industrial shoreline for public use as a waterfront promenade and kayak launch, right at the city’s largest wastewater treatment plant.

Features include a 170-foot-long “Vessel” passage, trash receptacles designed to look like barrels, carefully selected plants and more.

Dock 72 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard preserves history and provides shared work spaces.

Dock 72 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Market Street between 6th Street and Assembly Road. This is a project of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, Boston Properties, Rudin Development, and WeWork, designed by S9 Architecture and MPFP.

Dock 72’s design celebrates the maritime and industrial history of the Brooklyn Navy Yard while providing 21st-century shared work spaces that allow tenants to contribute to the yard’s renewed life as a growing industrial hub.

Columns lift the ship-like structure above and away from Wallabout Bay, creating terraces with views of the surrounding Navy Yard, the East River, and Manhattan.

More details on the Excellence in Design awards here.

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