d3 and Transportation Alternatives have announce the winners of the “Close The Gap” design competition, which invited architects, landscape architects, urban designers, engineers and students worldwide to envision the completion of New York City's East River Greenway. Submissions from pla.net Architects and the design team of James Stokoe & Madeline Stokoe were selected by the jurors for a shared first prize.
The competition called for proposals that fundamentally transform how people move through Manhattan by filling in a 22-block gap along the East River.
“The competition drew responses from all over the world, from 22 countries, ranging from Canada to Iran,” said Sandy McKee, principal of Yoshihara McKee Architects and competition co-director of d3. “They all assumed that we can redesign New York to make it a better place to live. We started the competition when the goal of closing the East Side Gap seemed like an impossible dream, but we are now one step closer with innovative, thoughtful and exciting ideas to explore.”
“The winning submissions envision a vibrant East Side waterfront that enables the full scope of possibilities for urban transportation,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “From the pla.net team’s focus on increasing access to open space in Manhattan with an eye to integrating new and old infrastructure to the Stokoe’s design, which challenges us to rediscover the power, potential and history of the East River, these teams took the hopes of countless East Side residents and brought them to life.”
Earlier this month, Mayor Bloomberg approved a land swap agreement that will allow the completion of the East River Greenway. By selling three properties to the United Nations, the city will have the funds to the fill in a 22-block gap along the East River greenway. Demand for waterfront space has been growing steadily in Manhattan, resulting in a greenway surrounding virtually the entire island--with the exception of Harlem’s East River shoreline above 120th Street and the gap between East 38th and East 60th streets. As a result, the East Side currently has the lowest ratio of open space to residents and workers in the city. Closing this gap in the East River Greenway will finally bring more open space to the East Side waterfront and enable access to active transportation like bicycling and walking.
d3 competition co-directors Sandra McKee and Gregory Marinic assembled a jury of architects, landscape architects, and stakeholders in the East River revitalization effort. The jury included Victoria Marshall, Till Design; Michael Szivos, softLAB; Paul Steely White, Executive Director Transportation Alternatives; Audrey Matlock, Audrey Matlock Architect; Rob Rogers, Rogers Marvell Architects; Hiroki Yoshihara, Yoshihara McKee Architects; Steve Vaccaro, Chair of Transportation Alternatives East Side Committee; Mark Thompson, Chair of Manhattan Community Board Six; and Laurie Beckelman, Beckelman+Capalino.
Find images of the special mentions winners in the image gallery below. All images courtesy of d3.