Urban citizens' union Civitas engaged Brooklyn native, essayist, and brother-to-Leonard Phillip Lopate to kick off its latest design competition for reimagining the East River waterfront uptown, from 60th to 125th Streets. Providing plenty of pullquotes to jazz up yet another ideas competition, Lopate addressed an audience at Park Avenue Armory with bon mots like, "I wish there were more opportunities to get to the water and stick your hand in it" (hmmm) and "The FDR is the original sin. It's not going to go away" (true!). The competition deadline is January 15, 2012 and promises a $5,000 first prize.
Meanwhile, an arts group met a transportation lobbyist group and put together a design competition to re-envision the waterfront portion between East 38th and East 60th Street, the spot that will be opened to the public in exchange for ceding the Robert Moses Playground for the construction of a new UN tower. The brief called for a design that links existing networks with "alternative means of transportation including walking, jogging, biking, etc., as well as leisure and recreation space." Two winners were chosen (images above): an American team, Archetal, and pla.net architects from Austria.
With all these architects coming up with ideas, for free, hopefully the city will take note of a few of them. We second Lopate's nomination for a floating beach or pool—in fact, we know just the thing!
· Phillip Lopate Kicks Off Design Contest For a New East River Waterfront [DNAInfo]
· Close the Gap competition [D3/Transportation Alternatives]
· UN Tower Picks Up Steam Where It Left Off with Maki, FXFowle [Curbed]