Care for Hudson Square is a recovery initiative aimed at reinvigorating the Hudson Square neighborhood. Small and M/WBE design firms were invited to submit proposals for an interactive street installation that would help reactivate the public realm. Today the Urban Design Forum, Hudson Square Properties, and Hudson Square Business Improvement District announced the winner of their “Care for Hudson Square” design competition ~ WIP Collaborative!
After a two-round design competition that invited small and M/WBE firms based in New York City, the winning design by WIP Collaborative was selected to be constructed and unveiled in the coming months at Hudson Square. WIP Collaborative is a women-led team composed of seven independent designers and their respective practices–that include Abby Coover (Overlay Office) Bryony Roberts (Bryony Roberts Studio), Elsa Ponce, Lindsay Harkema (WIP Studio), Ryan Brooke Thomas (Kalos Eidos), Sera Ghadaki, and Sonya Gimon. They will work with Hudson Square Properties, leading property owner and stakeholder, and Hudson Square BID, advocate for the Hudson Square community, to develop a placemaking installation on King Street that responds creatively and dynamically to changing public health guidance on physical distancing.
“Restorative Ground is a multifaceted landscape of exploration, envisioned as an environment for both social interaction and sensory stimulation that allows for a full range of experiences from adventurous and playful to quiet and restorative,” said WIP Collaborative. “The large footprint of the King Street site accommodates space for safe gathering, in a location within Hudson Square that offers the opportunity to act as a connector between existing community resources, cultural institutions and nearby green spaces.”
On King Street between Hudson and Greenwich Streets, WIP Collaborative’s installation is designed to act as a new interactive destination in Hudson Square, a place for residents, office tenants, and the broader public to come together around a range of activities. The installation itself, titled Restorative Ground, will straddle the parking lane and part of the sidewalk and is proposed to align with King Street’s participation in the Open Streets Program. Using durable materials found commonly in playgrounds, like recycled rubber and AstroTurf, the installation will feature modular sections for seating and climbing.
“New York City can reorient the street as a site for culture, convening, and healing after months of social isolation,” said Dan McPhee, Executive Director of the Urban Design Forum. “Restorative Ground will reintroduce public life back into the neighborhood fabric with a safe and inclusive design.”
“It is so important for all of us determined to see New York City yet again transcend challenging circumstances to act in ways large and small that can welcome and support all New Yorkers in sustaining this singular city,” said Tommy Craig, Managing Director of Hines, which is asset manager and partner in Hudson Square Properties. “Hudson Square Properties is proud to be working with the Urban Design Forum and others to support this creative initiative to reactivate our streetscapes, engage with our neighbors and tap into the dynamic energy of our community of businesses, residents, workers and visitors through design.”
“At the Hudson Square Business Improvement District, we are committed to public art as one of the cornerstones of the City’s recovery and renaissance. We are a city and a neighborhood where creators and makers have always shown the way forward,” said Ellen Baer President and C.E.O. of Hudson Square BID. “Together with our partners, we have selected a piece that invites the community to use our outdoor spaces to work, play and think – a very Hudson Square way of welcoming the neighborhood home again.”
The competition’s finalists and winner were selected by an interdisciplinary jury from the Urban Design Forum’s network of fellows and judged proposals based on physical presence, evolving public health guidance, and inclusive design. Care for Hudson Square’s two runners-up, Taller KEN (above image) and Dash Marshall with Public Policy Lab (below image), proposed vibrant and community-centered designs to reimagine the streetscape on Little 6th Avenue. Urban Design Forum’s McPhee said he hopes this exercise – including the breadth of innovation, creativity, and community-centered approaches – serves as a call to action to replicate in other neighborhoods with new community partners and business improvement districts.
Our finalists and winning team will present their proposals in discussion with our partners: How do we design in the public realm in the evolving public health landscape? More information to be released by Urban Design Forum.
See all the work Here!