This public project for a plaza outside the Carroll Street subway entrance addresses the dominant conditions on site – the movement of trains underneath and the flow of human traffic. A series of stacked corten planter boxes negotiate between elements of public and private space. Playing off the idea of sound and vibration generated by the trains, the fractured arrangement of corten boxes are a visual vibration of form. The bluestone plaza is activated by black granite paving inserts whose arrangement is reminiscent of an old graphic sound recording. The geometric planting design includes drought tolerant plants, with large swaths of grasses and flowering perennials.
With a 3 million annual ridership flowing in and out of the Carroll Street subway stop, the public plaza is a new iconic corner mediating between a historic Brooklyn neighborhood and the industrial nature of Gowanus.
The entrance to the building is activated by long, linear strips of bluestone paving that pull visitors and residents inside. The interior lobby integrates built-in bluestone planters and a reclaimed wood feature wall. A green roof with a sweeping 360 degree view of the Manhattan skyline and of downtown Brooklyn sits blocks away from the Gowanus Canal. It offers both an ecological intervention for stormwater capture and a recreational space. Features include built-in cedar screens and planters which delineate seating, dining, lounging, and play areas for the residents.
Winner of Special Mention in the 2013 Architizer A+ Awards for Architecture and Urban Transformation.
Photo Credit: K•Taro Hashimura