Come December, Brooklyn's Prospect Park will open Lakeside, the park's first new building since the green space was landmarked in the late 1960s. The new ice skating rinks and 30,000-square-foot building by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien are the centerpieces of Lakeside, but the 26-acre project also, as the Times archicritic Michael Kimmelman says, reclaims and restores "Brooklyn's pastoral heart. In essence, the project bids to turn this area back into the park's center of gravity, as Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux imagined during the 1860s." The $74 million Lakeside restores the lake's southern shoreline, adds new paths and picnic areas, and recreates Music Island, which was demolished with the construction of Wollman Rink.
The actual building is tucked into gently sloping hills, and Kimmelman says it "looks as if it has been here all the while, emerging from the land and integral to it." He compares the rink to Rockefeller Center in that it's a "place to see and be seen," and it's laid out in a manner that orchestrates the flow of people. "...The complex can appear almost serendipitously. No longer fenced off, now ensconced in the soft hills and approachable from various angles, the rinks appear from the lake or the esplanade or from atop the buried pavilions, where walking paths lead to balconies with views..." Lakeside is set to open in mid-December.
· Restoring Brooklyn's Pastoral Heart [NYT]
· All Lakeside coverage [Curbed]
Rendering by DBOX