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BIG unveils River Street Waterfront Master Plan for Williamsburg

The project is a collaboration between BIG, Two Trees Management, and James Corner Field Operations.

December 18, 2019 |
River Street Waterfront master plan

All renderings courtesy BIG

Bjarke Ingels Group recently unveiled the design for its River Street Waterfront Master Plan in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. The design seeks to create a living waterfront, enhance the connectivity of the public waterfront, restore natural habitats, elevate the standard for urban waterfront resiliency, and transform the way New Yorkers interact with the East River.

The urban shoreline will be deconstructed and re-naturalized with the water’s edge expanding into the city. A circular path will frame a protected cove and provide 360-degree panoramic views of Brooklyn and Manhattan. By extending landscape-piers to existing concrete caissons, breakwaters are created that dissipate wave action from river waves and wakes from boats. This new protected cove will support in-water recreation and boating, while mitigating the effects of storm surge on the neighborhood.


BIG master plan


The expanded shoreline will create six new acres of park space, which includes three acres of in-water programming. The new space will feature an outdoor tidal classroom, tidal pools, a picnic and hammock grove, and a nature walk.


See Also: Weiss/Manfredi will lead the master plan of the La Brea Tar Pits


BIG Williamsburg ground level


In addition to the shoreline work, the project will also feature two residential towers oriented to limit view obstruction from the neighborhood. The mixed-income towers will include 1,000 total units of housing, 250 of which will be below market rate. Also included on the ground floor of the towers is a new 47,000-sf YMCA, 30,000-sf of neighborhood-oriented retail space, and 4,500-sf of community occupied kiosks. The towers and their podiums will be blended to soften the relationship between the buildings and the park.

The project is currently in progress.


BIG williamsburg pool


BIG River Street Water front development


BIG RIver Street Waterfront towers


River street tidal pool

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