Plaza Concept Design Study

Queens, New York

As one of NYC’s Department of City Planning’s designated Special Mix-Use Districts, HMWhite’s park plaza conceptual design study demonstrates how quality public open space evolves into a safe neighborhood connector and social activating destination. The site is singularly characterized as a hub for public and private transit facilities - devoid of any humanistic qualities. Overcoming the overbearing train trestle presence and accommodating safe passage to and through the plaza commanded the primary design approach. Large planted zones emerged as trestle buffering mechanisms, circulation navigators and landscape character building space-makers to create a “there –there.” Each existing channeled crosswalk location and their limited destination choices reveal plaza “desire lines.” Limited available routes’ establish direct and clear passages that aim users to the only available crosswalks and sidewalks. Routes also orient pedestrian to ground floor retail activities fronting onto the plaza. Such pleasant discoveries are embellished by a dense planted framework, which improves spatial experiences, human comfort levels, elevate the senses and ultimately invites pauses and curious lingering. Quality of surface treatments, dappled shade, evening lighting ambience and oversized custom seating will collectively attract residents and visitors to congregate and positively interact. A community haven is established as a transformational pubic space design shift where city’s inhabitants’ needs are fulfilled and quality of civic infrastructure is upheld and appreciably enhanced. 


Design Team
Landscape Architect: HMWhite
Architect: MdeAS Architects
Structural Engineer: WSP
Civil Engineer: Philip Habib & Associates
MEP Engineer: Jaros, Baum & Bolles
Soils Consultant: Mueser Rutledge
Lighting Designer: Kugler Ning Lighting Design
Environmental Engineer: Tene Environmental
Construction Manager: New Line Structures

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