How hot does titanium get? And is it too hot for children to scamper on? Is corrugated cardboard sturdy enough after many rains? These are the questions that came to mind when we heard that Frank Gehry will design a playground for the Battery.
At the Battery Conservancy's gala last night, Mayor Bloomberg and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe announced that Gehry would design his first playground in Manhattan. Benepe said, "It is fitting that the Battery, the birthplace of New York, will be home to another firstFrank Gehry’s newest creation will be a truly innovative play experience for New Yorkers and visitors alike, for the young and the young-at-heart.” And from the press release:
An original Gehry design will complement the uniqueness of the Battery, where land and sea, history and modernity combine in a refuge for pleasure, relaxation, learning and play for people of all ages. The architect’s work – internationally acclaimed for its daring exploration of form, singular combination of urbanity and whimsy, and sensitivity to culture in our built environment – lends itself to this project: an original environment for children to explore and have fun. The one-acre playground will also feature a “green” comfort station with a green roof and vegetal walls.
This means that downtown is the place for playgrounds, since David Rockwell is working on a playground for the South Street Seaport. The construction for the Gehry playground will receive $4 million and the Battery Conservancy will raise the rest of the money.
And the playground will be part of a "larger renaissance of the Battery," which includes the Battery Bosque Gardens, two new "green" and organic food kiosks, a Battery Bikeway, a new Town Green, renovations to Peter Minuet Plaza, and the restoration and expansion of Castle Clinton.