Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Waterfront Center Excellence Award
ASLA Analysis and Planning Honor Award
The transformation of Brooklyn’s front yard to the East River was a monumental undertaking. With most of the site devoid of any horticultural soils and filled with urban rubble, Pine & Swallow’s task was to design resilient soils to support what would become a much-loved feature. The 85-acre Brooklyn Bridge Park runs approximately 1.5 miles along the East River. The park, with 6 piers and associated uplands, includes lawns, beaches, coves, restored habitats, playgrounds, and new tidal and freshwater wetlands and stream systems. A major constructed landform with slopes up to 45 degrees, requiring various stabilization strategies, extends the length of the park to provide separation of the waterfront from a nearby expressway. Pine & Swallow designed all planting soils and soil drainage strategies for high-use and amenity lawns, play areas, major planting zones, new wetlands and salt marshes, and a constructed stream system that recycles stormwater and underdainage for remediation.