Monday, October 10, 2005

Congratulations and thank you, Thomas Balsley for creating one of my favorite NYC parks!!

Thomas Balsley not only is awarded the 2005 Honorary Award by the ASLA, it also made the cover of the October 2005 Landscape Architecture magazine.

When Paul and I lived in NYC, we moved into a building that was brand spankin' new on 26th Street and 6th Avenue, which is on the border of the Flatiron district and Chelsea, there were two empty lots in between the new building and the previously existing mid-height brick buildings. This could have been used as another parking space during the week and part of the steller but dwindling flea market that resides in that neighborhood every weekend. Instead, I am happy to say, it was commissioned and turned into a shining example of modern landscape design.

As soon as it was opened in late 2001 and I walked through the 40'x200'
Capital Plaza, I loved it and here is why:
-cross sectional blocks of warm colors allow the space to seem wider than it actually is
-the 90' orange corrugated steel wall has elliptical cutouts that are backlit at night and during the day, the sun and its reflections off of buildings creates elliptal sun drops on the floor of the space.
-The 1/2 elliptical shape of the seating areas breaks up the spaces into rooms between the blocks in a yin-yang manner.
-The raised seating area has natural stone and zen plantings - bamboo and grasses. Very modest but planted in a way that looks very appropriate for the city and natural as well as create a natural bustling sound that dampens the city noise.
-The three ground level rooms each offer a different way of viewing the park: trees above, surrounded by grasses or an out-in-front people watching perspective.
-Large stones that are natural to the northeast look like the landscape architect molded the space around them instead of vice versa.

So, if you find yourself at 26th and sixth, take a few steps to check out what good modern landscape architecture is about.


Post a Comment

<< Home