Last November, developer Fisher Brothers launched a design competition, called Beyond the Centerline, that allowed architects and urban planners to pitch design ideas for a transformed eleven-block stretch along Park Avenue between East 46th and East 57th streets. The 17 finalists proposed everything from an 18-hole mini golf course to an aquarium to a High Line-like park, but ultimately only one of these outlandish proposals made the final cut for the jury vote.
Ben Meade, Anthony Stahl, and Alexia Beghi—all from design firm Maison— were selected as the jury winners for their “Park Park” proposal that touts the idea of populating Park Avenue’s medians with “a series of raised platforms incorporating venues intended to attract New Yorkers and visitors to the centerline in different experiential ways” (h/t 6sqft).
There would be a performance stage for concerts and shows; a “triplet of glass cubes” that function as a rotating art gallery; an elevated basketball court that “pays homage to New York City’s rich basketball culture,” and a “seasonally-curated pathway” known as The Gardens.
The winner of the competition’s popular vote was “Park River,” by Amy Garlock, Drew Cowdrey, and Fareez Giga of the Local Architects firm. Their design proposed turning the stretches’ malls into a “new kind of shoreline... that is accessible, recreation-focused, and instantly creates a new way to experience the city from within.” In their vision, this includes a river that loops around the sides of Park Avenue to create 11 blocks of waterfront property in Midtown. “Park River” would accommodate activities like kayaking in the warmer months and ice skating in the colder months.
Designers for “Park Park” get to take home a $25,000 prize while designers for “Park River” will net a $5,000 award.