First Avenue Water Plaza

New York, NY
  • Green Roof
  • Mixed-use
  • Park
  • Plaza / Streetscape

Steps from the East River, SCAPE’s First Avenue Park serves as both an active civic space and a functional water filtration system. The water plaza, located over a parking structure, is activated by a layered water-collection system that responds to multiple types of inundation. A scrim fountain centers the design, creating a shimmering plane of water that mitigates the noise of the FDR highway and cools the space. Around the perimeter, a series of rock-lined swales collect storm water runoff from the plaza while creating a sense of vegetated enclosure. In a heavy rain event, the swales are coupled with an underground retention system located between the plaza and the parking structure that captures and holds water before gradually diverting it to the East River. In the event of a flood, the water-plaza landscape combines with a deployable floodwall to protect the new building from inundation. The site responds directly to both storm water and coastal flooding threats while creating spaces for relaxation and play.

Client

  • JDS Development Group

Collaborators

SHoP Architects
Buro Happold
WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff
AKRF
RA Consultants
Metropolis Group
VDA
Delta Fountains
Pine and Swallow