As the waterfront park bounding the massive Domino Sugar Factory development readies for its opening to the public this Sunday, developer Two Trees Management has released photos of the finished esplanade. AN previously toured the site back in April, but the James Corner Field Operations-designed (JCFO) park has finally received its greenery, closed the holes in the pier, and installed the waterworks.
As previously reported, the park runs directly in front of the circular, SHoP Architects-designed 325 Kent as well as the string of residential and office buildings master planned by SHoP (and PAU’s forthcoming conversion of the sugar refinery). JFCO’s take on the Williamsburg waterfront programmatically orders the park so that the more active space is located near the Williamsburg Bridge, and the passive spaces further away.
At its most energetic section, the park holds two bocce ball courts, a dog run, a 6,300-square-foot flexible playing field, and a volleyball court, as well as an existing skate park. The vibe mellows as visitors walk further from the bridge, with the Danny Meyer-run Tacocina in front of the picnic area; the taco stand’s patio has been decked out with appropriately technicolor outdoor furniture.
An elevated walkway hangs over Tacocina, and park-goers can take in views of the waterfront on a catwalk made from beams scavenged from inside of the nearby refinery. The design is a reference to the site’s industrial past and resembles a gantry–an effect made more realistic by the long-dormant cranes lingering nearby, now painted seafoam green.
In fact, industrial artifacts from the Sugar Factory dot the park. Along the five-block-long Artifact Walk, screw conveyors have been installed vertically, mooring bollards, signage, and four 36-foot-tall syrup tanks have all been turned into public sculptures. Even the children’s playground, while new, has been shaped like refining machinery.
While the park is owned by Two Trees, it’s been opened to the public and subject to the New York City Parks Department’s maintenance standards. Interested visitors can walk the waterfront, run through the misting sprinklers, or eat tacos on the newly-elevated pier come June 10.