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.
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.
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.