The Williamsburg Bridge Park project addresses the potential
of a huge abandoned space that has not been noticed
in the urban context and the potential of infrastructure
not as a barrier but as a bridging system which connects
neighborhoods and open spaces. It also explores the
possibility of infrastructure as an environmental instrument
which purifies the polluted run off, attenuates noise
associate with the infrastructure and creates renewable
I focused on the Williamsburg Bridge in the Lower East
Side of Manhattan New York, as an infrastructure that
not only links Manhattan to Brooklyn, but also connects
the neighborhood to the East River Park. The area near
the Essex St - Delancey St station is the neighborhood
center of the Lower East Side in which a lot of cultural
amenities are located. However, Delancey, which connects
the neighborhood center and the East River Park, is
rather underutilized and desolate because of the huge
structure of the Williamsburg Bridge. Therefore, I paid
attention to the potential of the abandoned space under
the infrastructure as “a bridge” that connects
the neighborhood to the open space and connects the
neighborhoods which were blocked by the bridge.
This site has several opportunities.
The size of the huge abandoned space under the bridge
is 100 ft wide 78 ft high at the highest part and the
Delancey itself is 260 ft wide. Street traffic is low
and the street is occupied by street parking because
Delancey does not directly connect to the major FDR
highway near it. Also, the site has adjacent available
The idea of this project is to move the existing street
parking to a hanging parking lot underneath the bridge
using a robotic parking system and to create open space
under the bridge. This robotic parking also includes
changing the adjacent existing parking lots into open
The spatial strategy is first to make
a structured space under the bridge utilizing and adjusting
the bridge structure to allow the other space to remain
open. Second, to split the structure to allow for the
streets to continue. Third, to link the major open spaces
with a pedestrian pathway.
Programs are introduced based on the
site condition and spatial constraints caused by the
bridge. Indoor sports facilities such as basketball
court, gym, and swimming pool are introduced near existing
playground and new obtained open space. A senior center
and daycare center is placed adjacent to the existing
daycare center and children’s school. A kiddy
pool and kid’s gym which can be utilized by both
daycare center and gym, are introduced in the center.
A new cinema and a grocery store are introduced utilizing
nearby open spaces. This whole program is linked to
the existing pedestrian bridge on top of the Williamsburg
bridge and to the East River Park. Finally, the robotic
parking system will be on the top.
The design metaphor comes from the bridge.
Split and folded spaces contain diverse activities such
as cinemas, outdoor cafeterias and pedestrian bridges.
Inserting building masses provide diverse spatial use
of the inside and outside. Corrugated surfaces create
inhabitable surfaces and indoor spaces.
This bridge will also work as an environmental
instrument. The robotic parking system and the cladding
will attenuate the noise coming down from the bridge
and traveling horizontally. Solar panels will create
energy which will be used to light the space under the
bridge. Polluted runoff from the bridge will be reused
as gray water for toilets or be treated by a treatment
pond system. Trees near the bridge will clean and filter
the polluted air.