After the storm, a necessary renovation becomes a chance to create something new
Coney Island, New York City's iconic destination for fun, was due for a renovation. The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), saw the redevelopment as an opportunity to create a more unified community following the devastating impacts of Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Their vision included new streets, enlivened with streetscape amenities, pedestrian connections, shops, and restaurants. But they needed a design to bring it to life.
The project required almost two miles (three kilometres) of new street construction and three miles (nearly five kilometres) of new storm and sanitary sewers. As part of our design, we raised the streets to achieve positive flow for the storm sewers. We also created a grading transition area on Parachute Way. This area will serve as an entryway to the MCU Park and give pedestrians access to the boardwalk from Surf Avenue.
In a special collaboration with artist Xenobia Bailey, we incorporated a public art vision into the design process. Bailey used prisms and the color gradation of the pavers to make an artistic statement, which is reflected in the plaza design. For instance, the colors of the pavers range from black to deep brown to sandy tan, representing the colors of sand around the world and the community's diversity.
The final design creates an interesting space and supports the transition of Coney Island from a seasonal attraction into a vibrant, year-round community.
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