Advertisement

Loading...

Frank Gehry Designs $10 Million Playground for Battery Park

By Julie Shapiro on May 6, 2010 3:14pm | Updated on May 7, 2010 3:22pm

Star architect Frank Gehry's designing his first playground for Battery Park. It will include slides that incorporate his signature wavy designs, similar to those seen in the IAC Building in Chelsea he designed.
Star architect Frank Gehry's designing his first playground for Battery Park. It will include slides that incorporate his signature wavy designs, similar to those seen in the IAC Building in Chelsea he designed.
View Full Caption
Mario Tama/Getty Images

By Julie Shapiro

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

FINANCIAL DISTRICT — Imagine standing at the top of a rippling Frank Gehry building and riding its curves like a slide all the way to the bottom.

That experience may be what Gehry had in mind when he designed his first playground, estimated to cost $10 million and which could open as soon as 2012 in Battery Park.

The playground will feature Gehry’s trademark twisted metal, in the form of three tall slides, said Warrie Price, president of the Battery Conservancy, as she revealed the first details of Gehry’s design Wednesday night.

“They go whoosh, whoosh, whoosh,” Price said, waving her hands from one side to the other to demonstrate the curves. “We’re trying to do things you can’t find in other playgrounds.”

Gehry also designed a birdhouse that's for children, not birds. The idea is to get kids off the ground and “feel like you’re a bird,” Price said.

Other features include a small amphitheater where children can put on plays and “improv structures” that could become a house or a school depending on a child’s imagination.

“Things are wonderfully free,” Price said. “A child’s sense of free-spiritedness [is reflected] in the design elements.”

The $10 million Battery Playspace would expand the current stark playground by 40 percent, absorbing an unsightly maintenance yard. Gehry is donating his design.

The Battery Conservancy has about $5 million so far and hopes to raise the rest through donations and government grants.

Community Board 1’s Financial District Committee unanimously supported the project Wednesday night and passed a resolution urging elected officials to fund the “vibrant and enchanting space.”

Price emphasized that the design is still preliminary. She is working with the city Parks Department to ensure it meets safety codes, and it will also have to go before the city Public Design Commission.

Price hopes to unveil a model of the design in November.

Architect Frank Gehry drafted a free-spirited design for the Battery Playspace, his first playground.
Architect Frank Gehry drafted a free-spirited design for the Battery Playspace, his first playground.
View Full Caption
Flickr user Smaku
The current playground is spare and outdated, but children still seemed to enjoy it Thursday morning.
The current playground is spare and outdated, but children still seemed to enjoy it Thursday morning.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Julie Shapiro

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement