Edging is another key element of the Park and Public Space Master Plan. Edging surrounds and defines the perimeters of lawn and planted areas and the “pillow-shaped” topography. Edging serves multiple functions: clarifying paths, guiding bicyclists, and retaining grade. Its height correlates with the rolling topography and has a light, contrasting tone with adjacent materials. The result is a heightened definition of the curved paths and topography that makes circulation highly legible, interconnected, and a visual delight. Edging “paints” the park — calling attention to the gentle undulation of the topography that draws you further into the park and public spaces.
Four categories of edging are used, and each varies in height and cross-sectional shape according to the different function that it supports. Low, wide edging provides a durable edge that defines areas of lawn or garden from pathways or terrace areas. Ramp edging, spaced regularly, provides universal access, bicycle access and maintenance equipment access. Retaining and/or seat edging retains grade where the topography rises and falls along the park and public space pathways. Retaining and non-retaining seat edging occurs at the Play Lawn, Soissons Landing, South Battery, the upper level of the western Promenade and the South Prow Overlook, and supplements bench seating provided throughout the Island.
Edging sections are mass produced in a handful of curved and straight sections which will be used in combination. The edging can be made from precast concrete or granite. Precast concrete allows the edges to have ornamental textured surfaces such as scales and feathers, which give visual interest and expression. The profile of the edging is soft in its effect: rounded and smooth to correlate to the undulating topography, while providing comfort for park visitors to sit and even lie down on the seat walls.
“The Way it Works” explains how the elements of the park and public space function. While the design is at the master plan stage, considerable work underlies the plan to ensure a strong foundation for future implementation. The West 8…
The program brief for the park and public space is based on a number of key principles:
• To provide unique experiences that capitalize on the attributes of the Island and its harbor location
• To create a destination that…
A landscape architect’s most transformative space-making tool is grading. Grading is used functionally to channel run-off and provide adequate drainage. Beyond the purely functional, however, grading creates heaving bulges and recesses, small dips and peaks, and swaths of smooth, flat…
Parks are more pleasurable and more memorable if they have a rich layering of spatial qualities. The new topography at the southern portion of Governors Island cultivates the views of the Harbor. The park and public spaces will be designed…
Clear, organized circulation is essential to the legibility of the park and public spaces and to the safety of users. A network of pathways and roads serves pedestrians, bicyclists, and service vehicles, with a hierarchy of path uses and path…
There is a conscious effort to correlate paving treatments and expression to the character of different park and public space areas and experiences. The horizontal plane underfoot (or under bicycle tires) contributes significantly to the experience.
Stretches of path and…
Seating, lighting and other furnishings are critical to the visitor’s experience of any public space or park. An array of well-designed and well-located furnishings makes for a comfortable and inviting experience. Furnishings help establish character and feel. They also must…
The Historic District’s protected conditions, higher elevations and quality top soils make for ideal conditions to grow large, beautiful shade trees and support other plantings. On the southern half of the Island, poor quality soil, exposure to harsh salty winds,…
The Park and Public Space Master Plan includes conceptual-level designs for three buildings to serve visitors and their needs for rest, refreshment, and information: Soissons Ferry Pavilion, the Shell at Liberty Terrace, and the Cube at Yankee Landing.