Award of Merit: Landscape/Hardscape/Urban Development

Forty years after Louis I. Kahn designed it, this 4.5-acre park at last joined the landscape of Roosevelt Island in New York. The park contains a garden flanked by two allées of Little Leaf Linden trees leading up to the park's central feature—the "Room," an open-air granite structure located at the southern tip of the Island. The Room is made up of 190 individual stones, 70 of which measure 6 ft by 6 ft by 12 ft and weigh 36 tons each. These massive stones needed to be shipped one by one to New Jersey, where they were loaded onto a barge and transported to Roosevelt Island.

Besides the Room, there are more than 261,000 hand-placed 4-in. by 4-in. cobblestones within the park. A combined 7,700 tons of stone were placed, making it the heaviest stone-setting job ever to be undertaken in New York City.

Logistics proved to be the greatest challenge in building the park, which Best Projects judges took note of when they praised the project on its coordination efforts. For example, the Room is constructed below sea level and required the erection of a coffer dam to hold back the East River in an area containing some of the strongest currents on the Eastern Seaboard. From a designer's perspective, it was difficult to adhere to a design intent and set of drawings as well as specifications that were developed in 1973. One judge lauded the team's success in "adhering to [the park's] original design concept."

FDR Four Freedoms Park, Roosevelt Island, N.Y.

Key Players

Owner FDR Four Freedoms Park LLC

Owner's Representative Works in Progress Associates

General Contractor Sciame Construction LLC

Lead Designer Mitchell Giurgola Architects LLP

Civil Engineer Langan Engineering & Environmental Services

Geotechnical Engineer TRC Engineers Inc.

Structural Engineer Weidlinger Associates

Click Here to View Related Article