BIG plans for a layered look in Brooklyn
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) have unveiled a proposal to create a public park covering a subterranean roadway in Brooklyn, New York.
Built by Robert Moses in the 1950s, the Brooklyn Queens Expressway is an iconic piece of New York infrastructure, but the triple-cantilever structure spanning Brooklyn to Queens, and connecting numerous bridges, is showing signs of ageing and corrosion.
Because of the restrictions put in place by the jurisdiction of the Department of Transport, proposals thus far have all been similar, and create a barrier between Brooklyn and the waterfront.
BIG have a design that will transform the Brooklyn Queens Expressway into a 50,000m2 BQ-Park. While still accommodating vehicle flow, they will cover the at-grade roadway along Furman Street and Brooklyn Bridge Park with a simple deck structure that allows for the addition of parkland.
This deck extends south to Atlantic Avenue, thus creating a new crossing and urban nexus, as well as the beginnings of a linear park that could eventually connect DUMBO to Red Hook.
A reconstructed cliffside covered with ramps, greenery and park amenities connects Brooklyn Heights to the Brooklyn Bridge Park, and there will be local access on the parkway.
In total, 10 acres of parkland are proposed, with a sloped park slanting gradually down to meet the waterfront, integrating a pedestrian path.
A six-lane highway will operate underground, where parking spots are also to be incorporated.
BIG describe the result of their plan as “a condition more reminiscent of Brooklyn Heights historical conditions - where city and river interlaced seamlessly, prior to construction of the highway. With this proposal we hope to build on the great work already being undertaken by many to think proactively about the problem- and look forward to working with the Brooklyn Community to find the best solutions for the BQE’s future!”
Their plan has the ability to either repair or replace the triple-cantilever structure, as well as options for retail, housing and a rock-climbing wall.
The release of the proposal came as New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to form an expert panel to look at options for replacing the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.