Netherlands based West 8 has finally released their proposed design for Lincoln Park adjacent to the New World Symphony building by Frank Gehry. More than a year after changing Frank Gehry as the park designer, West 8 has released an exciting design for the urban park in the heart of Miami Beach.
According to the architect’s website:
The Lincoln Park site is small — less than three acres in size. In European public space tradition, a site this small might be composed entirely of hard plaza surface, such as the 3.25-acre Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy. Even in American park design, urban parks can have a substantial amount of paved surfaces. Union Square Park in San Francisco is almost the same size as Lincoln Park, and equally positioned in the heart of its city center. It’s a place of gathering and activity and a place of relaxation for residents and visitors. But while Union Square Park has some patches of lawns and small gardens, most of the surfaces are paved plaza.
Given this precedent for urban parks, a question emerged early in the design process for Lincoln Park: should this public space feel like more like a plaza or be “green,” like a park? What is appropriate for this site, with its future use as a place of gathering, its openness to the intense sun, the availability of a pallet of tropical vegetation, its relationship to a stunning new piece of architecture, and its position within the activity of Miami Beach?
West 8 felt strongly that our mission is to deliver a green park, not a plaza. A park that feels intimate, shady, and soft. A park that will support the world-class attraction provided by the projection wall on the New World Symphony Building. A park that reflects the spirit and vitality of Miami Beach. And a park that will support a multitude of day and night uses, either under the shade of the trees or a starlit sky.
Lincoln Park will also have the wonder of some totally unique features that are one of a kind. First, there will be several pergolas that embrace the park edges, whose shape is inspired by the puffy cumulous clouds in this tropical climate. This will not only provide shade but will support the bright blooms of bougainvillea vines. High quality artwork is equally important here, and the projection wall is an ideal “canvas” for video projection artists, an emerging and exciting discipline of art. Both local and international artists could provide an ever-changing exhibit that would occur outside the walls of a traditional museum experience.
Lincoln Park will actually convey the illusion of a larger park than its small size actually is. This will be achieved by careful manipulation of the topography for a gentle undulation underfoot; by establishing “veils” of palm tree planting that conceal and reveal views; and by creating a mosaic of meandering pathways that lure you through all corners of the Park.
When realized, Lincoln Park will be a unified expression of recreation, pleasure and culture. Combined with the momentum of the New World Symphony’s uses and outstanding architecture, the campus will be a world class destination that marries music, design and experience.
Be sure to check out more images at the West 8 website. We would love to know your opinion? Does it standup to the original Frank Gehry design?
Yesterday morning I took the scenic route back home from the synagogue, going down all of Lincoln Road Mall, to the Oceanwalk Promenade, then up 5th St before heading home (see the MapMyRide.com Map). On a whim, I decided to count all the bikes I came across my way, whether parked or with riders. Everyone knows we have a lot of bicyclists here in the Beach, but I wanted to have a very rough headcount. It was 10 AM, and the temp was in the mid 50s, so I figured I would see only those out exercising, and those on their way to/from/already at work.
When all was said and done, I counted 146 bikes, including me, with about 85 of them being spotted just along Lincoln Rd. I am no urban statisticians, but that seemed like a lot of bikes for a 3/4-mile long stretch, let alone for the 2.5 miles of my entire trip. And that fills me with joy.
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