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Ben Van Berkel/UNStudio’s New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion Opened in New York
Posted: Monday, May 16, 2011 |

The New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion at Peter Minuit Plaza has now officially opened to the public in New York City's Battery Park. The pavilion was designed by Amsterdam-based Ben Van Berkel/UNStudio in collaboration with Handel Architects LLP, New York serving as associate architect. The project's landscape was conceived by Parks Dept. Landscape Designer Gail Wittwer-Laird.

The New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion at the Battery Park in New York, designed by UNStudio (Photo: James D'Addio)

Click above image to view slideshow
The New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion at the Battery Park in New York, designed by UNStudio (Photo: James D'Addio)

Commissioned by The Battery Conservancy and developed in collaboration with the Parks Department and Department of Transportation, the New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion was made possible by a generous $2.3 million gift from the Kingdom of the Netherlands to New York City, in honor of four centuries of friendship and a mutual passion for the values of innovation and creativity, diversity and openness, entrepreneurship and progress. 

The site will be New York City's first true 21st century intermodal transportation hub - where bicycles, buses, the subway and water transportation intersect with cultural offerings in a singular expression of daring but lyrical design - and will convert an intersection traveled by more than 150,000 residents and visitors daily into Lower Manhattan's newest and most dynamic destination for cultural activity, entertainment, and enjoyment.

Photo: James D'Addio

Click above image to view slideshow
Photo: James D'Addio

The Plein & Pavilion project was conceived by the Battery Conservancy to create an extraordinary 'outdoor living room' for spontaneous and scheduled activities, public markets, seating and shade, and a gleaming white, state-of-the-art pavilion for visitor information and delicious locally grown gourmet food.

UNStudio's design for New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion creates a 5,000 square-foot, carefully programmed space located within Peter Minuit Plaza, housing regional organic food by Merchants Market, as well as the Alliance for Downtown New York's Visitor Information Booth. This highly sculptural pavilion stands as a gateway to the Battery's park and waterfront, with an expressive, undulating roofline and curving walls;  a compact little building with the authority of a major landmark, evoking a flower opening to its surroundings.

Photo: James D'Addio

Click above image to view slideshow
Photo: James D'Addio

Every night at 12:00AM midnight, the New Amsterdam Pavilion will glow with an array of colors in tribute to Peter Minuit whose name translates to 'midnight.' 1626 consolidated the early settlements at the tip of Manhattan: a grouping that came to be known as New Amsterdam. This destination is, in the words of architect Ben van Berkel, "the ideal site for a permanent commemoration of 400 years of Dutch history in New York, because it is steeped in a sense of a shared past and looks directly toward the harbor where Henry Hudson sailed, but is also entirely focused on the future by virtue of its role as a modern transportation hub within the constantly changing scene of Lower Manhattan. This is a site where history meets the future."

Photo: James D'Addio

Click above image to view slideshow
Photo: James D'Addio

Warrie Price of The Battery Conservancy said, "The Netherlands is a country that sets global standards for how cities and countries can regenerate themselves through the professional strength of innovative and talented designers, and through the force and beauty of the natural world. The Battery, where New York City was born, began its own revitalization with the work of famed Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, who created with us the largest perennial gardens in North America, free and open to the public. With the New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion, we are delighted to continue our mission of design excellence, privileged to expand our connection to the great tradition of Dutch design, and honored to bring to New Yorkers and guests from around the world the joy of nature, the pleasure in community and the value of great modern architecture."

Model photo (Image courtesy of UNStudio)

Click above image to view slideshow
Model photo (Image courtesy of UNStudio)

Project Details:

Project: New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion, Battery Park, New York, USA, 2008 - 2011

UNStudio:
Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos with Wouter de Jonge, Christian Veddeler and Kyle Miller, Jan Schellhoff, Wesley Lanckriet, Arndt Willert

Advisors:

Handel Architects, New York
(Executive Architect)
Gary Handel, AIA, D. Blake Middleton, FAIA, LEED AP, Stephen Matkovits, AIA, LEED AP, Mark Morris

Buro Happold
(Lighting Design and Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Fire Protection Engineering)


See some more drawings of the pavilion, courtesy of Ben Van Berkel/UNStudio, in the image gallery below.

Sketch by Ben van Berkel (Image courtesy of UNStudio) Geometric Principle Diagram (Image courtesy of UNStudio) Site Plan (Image courtesy of UNStudio)


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