Across the path from the SeaGlass Carousel is The Battery Playscape, an innovative world of play and creativity, is now complete and open to the public, thanks to The Battery Conservancy (TBC). The new 1.4-acre Playscape triples the size of the current playground, responding to the growing number of Lower Manhattan families, the expanding elementary schools, and the increase visitation of children from all five boroughs. The Grand Opening took place in December, 2021.
BKSK Architects and Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners collaborated to create a play environment reflective of this unique nature-focused location. Playscape elements are inspired by climate, sea and wind. Rain gardens will filter urban runoff and serve as a global exemplar of sustainable playground design.
Some of Playscape’s special features will be the sculptural panels of The Battery Playscape Portal announce and welcome all who come to experience a new era of play within the ecology of landscape. The portal’s custom wave pattern recalls the tidal flow of the Hudson River, a motif repeated on ten enclosures and interpretive signage.
Adventure Bluff Gardens enhance the elevated hillside which hosts five granite slides with accessible ramp and boulder scrambles. It is planted with 40 new trees and toxin-free perennials.
Bluff Sun Shades protect children as we await mature tree growth. These six custom shade structures visually activate the site with reflective patterns compatible with the Portal design.
The Enchanted Village Garden presents three “tree houses” within the canopy of four existing London Plane trees and become the cottage gardens for the three ground level houses.
A 14’ x 14’ bronze-clad cube, “The ShowBox”, is nestled among a conifer grove. Its 9’x9’ Proscenium has wire-mesh curtains and rigging for student-made scenery to present string puppets, plays, musicals, and recitals. Its southeast corner hosts the Hand Puppet Nook. Children are actors, directors, producers, musicians, and puppeteers.
Playscape Custom Seating designed to interconnect the various play environments of the 1.5 acres as it weaves among 40,000 square feet of Perimeter Perennial Gardens to give children an introduction to a world of nature, including bugs, birds, and butterflies.