On View July 26-October 19, 2012

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Immensity +
Intimacy

Michael van Valkenburgh Associates

Immensity + Intimacy: Brooklyn Bridge Park explores the reborn landscape on New York City’s East River as a prototype for reimagining the urban waterfront. Through an inventive series of strategies, including sculpting the site’s complex maritime edge, reusing salvaged materials, and embedding ecology and experience, the park, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, redefines the Brooklyn waterfront as a central place in the civic imagination.

Immensity + Intimacy is the first in Van Alen Institute’s 2012-2013 exhibition series, River City: Waterfront Design for Civic Life, an investigation of how innovative riverfront design can act as a powerful tool for urban reinvention. By looking at case studies in New York, Seoul, and the Mississippi River Delta, River City examines how cities across America and around the world are reclaiming rivers as sites of cultural, environmental, and economic vitality. At the same time, the urgent challenges of climate change and demands for social equity have focused interest upon these complex urban landscapes. While revived waterfronts offer vast canvases for new development and recreation, converging ecological and economic forces have raised important questions about the river’s place in civic life.

Through its exhibitions and a series of related public programs, Van Alen will engage landscape architects, architects, planners, policymakers, urban advocates, and the riverfront’s broad public constituencies for dialogue and debate about the future of the urban shore.

On View Tuesday–Saturday, 11AM–6PM

9.12.12

Exhibition Party

Immensity + Intimacy: Brooklyn Bridge Park

7:00pm

Join us for a festive evening with representatives from Brooklyn Bridge Park’s design team at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, as well as riverfront advocates and the broader Van Alen community to celebrate the first exhibition in the River City series.

Thanks to everyone who came to Van Alen to celebrate Immensity + Intimacy: Brooklyn Bridge Park, the first in our 2012-2013 River City exhibition series!

Thanks to everyone who came to Van Alen to celebrate Immensity + Intimacy: Brooklyn Bridge Park, the first in our 2012-2013 River City exhibition series!

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10.10.12

The Urban Polder:

What New York’s Waterfront Can Learn
from the Dutch

7:00pm

As it faces a changing climate, the Netherlands is undergoing an “extreme makeover”: the country that fashioned its landscape so distinctly to keep water out is now adjusting its centuries-old strategy of self-defense: it is letting the water back in. This new Dutch relationship to water holds critical lessons for New York as it prepares more than 500 miles of metropolitan waterfront for an ever wetter future. Author and journalist Tracy Metz shares research from her new volume Sweet & Salt: Water and the Dutch, followed by a discussion with panelists Susannah Drake (dlandstudio), Klaus Jacob (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory), Michael Marrella (New York City Department of City Planning), and moderator James S. Russell (Bloomberg News and The Agile City) on strategies for living in harmony with water, and what New York City could learn from Dutch techniques. Join us for a special reception following the program.

This program is presented with The Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York. It is part of Archtober, NYC’s month-long festival of architecture activities, programs, and exhibitions.

Author and journalist Tracy Metz spoke about her new book, Sweet & Salt: Water and the Dutch, at our packed panel on October 10 with Susannah Drake (dlandstudio), Klaus Jacob (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory), Michael Marrella (New York City Department of City Planning), and moderator James S. Russell (Bloomberg News and The Agile City) on strategies for living in harmony with water, and what New York City could learn from Dutch techniques.

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10.15.12

Redefining the River:

Challenges in Urban Waterfront Design

6:30PM

Join Alex Washburn of the New York City Department of City Planning as he leads a discussion on the challenges of integrating design into New York’s most complex landscape: the waterfront. Participants include Regina Myer of Brooklyn Bridge Park; Matthew Urbanski of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates; Jonathan Marvel of Rogers Marvel Architects; Claire Weisz of WXY Architecture + Urban Design; Roland Lewis of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance; and Michael Fishman of Stantec.

On October 15, Van Alen convened a panel on Challenges in Urban Waterfront Design, with moderator Alex Washburn of the New York City Department of City Planning in conversation with Jonathan Marvel of Rogers Marvel Architects; Matthew Urbanski of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates; Regina Myer of Brooklyn Bridge Park; Michael Fishman of Stantec; Claire Weisz of WXY Architecture + Urban Design; and Roland Lewis of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. Panelists shared their experiences working to bring city-dwellers to the water’s edge while navigating the challenges of regulation, public safety, economic feasibility, and environmental impact.

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