Monday, January 16, 2012
A Pocket Square
Paley Park, a haiku-sized public open space in Midtown Manhattan is the quintessential pocket park. It's trim palette and socially advantageous design approach gets any landscape architect's mechanical pencil moving and shaking.
Zion and Breen masterfully engineered the site to create an outdoor plush pleasure palace in a setting flush with concrete and asphalt. I love their approach. As if planted by pile drivers, a grid of honey locust trees stud the site like structural girders to create a ceiling for the occupier of the space. A massive wall of water provides white noise to remediate any noise pollution from the urban context beyond. Parallel scrims of ivy not only soften the space but also introduce a finer detail of texture to better satiate and complement human scale. Easy street access ensures it's popularity and endorses the sense of perceived safety. (Truly unique to the site is it's own rider of contingency that mandates the exact hot dog brand that must be sold on site.)