Maker Park is a vision to reconcile the erasure of the Brooklyn industrial waterfront and reimage what a public park of the 21st century should be. It pays homage to the area’s long legacy of manufacturing and preserves the neighborhood’s culture of collaboration and making that is so central to its 21st century character.
Currently unbuilt, the team hopes to make it a reality – the City of New York has recently acquired the site after ten years and has funds in place to finally execute the park. Instead of creating an anonymous great lawn, a pro-bono team have come together to define a new vision of what this space can be.
A collaborative effort from internationally known Architects, Landscape Architects, Scientists, Environmental Attorneys, Financial Analysts, Remediation Specialists, Lighting Designers, and Graphic Designers, has yielded a new kind of waterfront park for NYC.
Nestled against an inlet is a series of ten oil tanks, located on the site of Charles Pratt’s historic Astral Oil Works. Pratt used the money from its sale to found his namesake school: The Pratt Institute, one of the earliest inclusive educational establishments, allowing students from all backgrounds.
Empty for half a century, Maker Park adaptively reuses the majestic tanks as Community Gardens, Performance Spaces, and Art Installations. Each unique, the tanks can house a picnic grove of birch trees and wildflowers, reflecting pools of water with hanging vines, theater which seats 250, and rocky landscapes and adventure playgrounds.
The vision provides public green spaces, play areas, gardens and more – resilient ecological Inlet with native species and community boating, Community Maker Space, and the endless possibilities for the Tank Gardens.
Maker Park has received recognition and interest from both the design community and locals – the project was honored with the Award of Merit by the AIA New York and the team continues to work with community groups and city agencies to help make the vision a reality.
The Pro-Bono team is comprised of:
Architect: STUDIO V Architecture Jay Valgora Daniel Tappe Matt Horvath Liwei Wang
Co-founders: Maker Park Karen Zabarsky Stacey Anderson