RANDALL’S ISLAND, NYC
The redevelopment of Randall’s Island Park was the largest city-funded initiative in over a century with RZAPS as prime architect for the multi-decade effort. The island, located in the East River in the geographic center of NYC, is primarily a large urban park that the city determined would become a destination for high quality sports and recreation. The severely deteriorated island required a comprehensive plan for its redevelopment that would consider parkland improvements and maintenance, environmental restoration, and new sports facilities.
The redevelopment plan’s core objective includes strategies that will promote a singular identity for the park that is comprised of fragmented areas physically interrupted by nonpark roads, bridges, and buildings.
Using Manhattan’s grid as a reference for how New Yorkers gauge distance, an organizing grid, rotated true north-south, is superimposed on the island. The grid assists in organizing and properly orienting regulation sports fields. At 1,200 feet apart, the interstices of the grid locate new buildings and other park amenities. New sports facilities are placed along the edges of non-park buildings and become appropriate building backdrops from within the park, maximizing the amount of open areas and allowing for distant views toward the river edges.