It's a big, big day for the Dutch here in New York, as the NY400 Week festivities kick off with the unveiling of the New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion at the Battery, a "permanent gift from the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the people of New York." The fresh-off-the-plane Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of The Netherlands are joining Mayor Bloomberg and other officials this morning to dedicate the fiberglass Pavilion, which will serve as a visitors' center.
Designed by Dutch architect Ben van Berkel of UNStudio, the elegant-looking number is envisioned as an "'outdoor living room' for spontaneous and scheduled activities, information, public markets, seating and shade." Or, to get even more grandiose, you could call it "a landscaped intermodal transportation hub of the 21st
century, where bicycles, buses, the subway and water transportation intersect with cultural offerings in a singular expression of daring but lyrical design." But wait, there's more—last we heard, the Sleeper-esque structure will feature an LED-adorned facade to create a color-shifting light show after sundown. The only thing missing is a replica Amsterdam cafe.
Yesterday we previewed the Pavilion as workers hustled to apply the finishing touches. As you can see, it's not quite ready for prime time, but neither is the surrounding Peter Minuit Plaza, which is undergoing a major renovation. So the Pavilion will be open to the public only until 6 p.m. today, and then it's off limits again until the Spring of 2010! But frustrated Pavilionphiles can drown their sorrows in stroopwafels at the New Amsterdam Village at Bowling Green.