Maryann Thompson Architects, as part of a team lead by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, is executing the adaptive re-use of an existing 150,000 SF warehouse and the conversion of an existing 7,200 SF mechanical building into a warming hut and services area as part of Brooklyn Bridge Park. On the Brooklyn side of the East River, the 85-acre parkland is adjacent to 800 acres of open water and harbor views. Pier 2 and Pier 6, MTA’s contributions to the park, explore a set of spatial and experiential conditions that gathers a sense of range anchored between Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan. While keeping with the industrial character of the site, the piers take advantage of programmatic variety, visual accessibility, and a horizontal layering strategy that embeds phenomena into activity.
Pier 2 uses its location and programmatic variety to attract a wide range of users. Conceived as the “toybox” for the larger park, Pier 2 is dense with recreational courts and equipment including 6 basketball courts, 10 handball courts, an inline skating rink, bocce courts, tetherball courts, 35 swings, chess tables, and picnic areas. These programmed activities are suspended between the continuous pier deck surface and an existing skin that has been partially excavated and replaced with translucent panels. The reactivated surface is negotiated with a series of full height stainless steel screens meant to partially contain programs yet encourage movement based on light and shadow. The eroded roof plan emphasizes and frames the direct view to Lower Manhattan, and through its layers of filtered light constructs a careful sequence of views not only to the city but to the open water, Brooklyn Bridge, the park uplands, the Statue of Liberty, and to the repetition of piers to the south.