Envisioning Gateway: A Public Design Competition for Gateway National Park
Competition Launch: January 2007
Competition Website: Gateway Competition Site
In January 2007, Van Alen Institute, National Parks Conservation Association and Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation invited designers worldwide to generate proposals for the future of Gateway National Recreation Area. Created in 1972, Gateway National Recreation Area (Gateway) stretches across 26,607 acres of the New York-New Jersey harbor and coast. It was one of the first units in the U.S. National Park System established to sustain both natural and urban ecologies while providing recreational opportunities for more than 22 million residents in the tri-state region. The park is a key sanctuary on the migratory flyway where more than 330 bird species have been observed, and it contains an array of estuarine wildlife habitats. Simultaneously, Gateway is home to public beaches, historic U.S. military forts and navigational facilities, New York City's first municipal airport, and regional infrastructural systems.
Comprised of as much water and marsh as land and field, this urban national park stands as one of the region's greatest opportunities. Its size and scope, however, present a set of fundamental challenges that formed the basis for the design competition. The great number of visitors and diverse wildlife at the park attest to its undeniable potential, but because it lies in two different states and serves three different city boroughs it faces competing physical, cultural, and economic demands. Additionally, Gateway's identity as part of the National Park System is not known to many of its surrounding communities. Waste and water treatment facilities historically sited at Gateway also warrant attention and reclamation.
Envisioning Gateway was an open, international competition presented and managed entirely via its website, which contained a wealth of data and research intended not only for competitors but also for Gateway's broader public constituency. With over 230 registered entrants from 23 countries, the jury selected three winning proposals and three honorable mentions that collectively challenged, embraced and expanded upon the National Park Service's dedication to environmental stewardship and education.
National Park Service Historian and Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Director, New York Region, Environmental Defense
First Deputy Mayor of New York City
Chair, National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy
Prinicpal, Hood Design
Principal, Latz + Partner Landscape Architects
Design Director, Tiffany & Co.
Principal, Mathur/da Cunha and Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Pennsylvania
Trustee, The Nature Conservancy of New York and Board Chair, Rare Conservation
Plant Ecologist, Institute for Ecosystem Studies
Principal, Roy, Co.
Executive Director, Van Alen Institute (Jury Co-Chair)
Dean, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation (Jury Co-Chair)
First Prize ($15,000)
Ashley Kelly and Rikako Wakabayashi (Brooklyn, NY)
Second Prize ($10,000)
North Design Office (Toronto, Canada)
Third Prize ($5,000)
Virginia Polytechnic: Laurel McSherry, Terry Surjan and Rob Holmes (Alexandria, VA)
Honorable Mentions ($500 each)
Archipelago Architecture and Landscape Architecture (New York, NY)
loop|8: Christopher Marcinkoski and Andrew Moddrell (Larchmont, NY)
Frank Gesualdi and Hayley Eber (New York, NY)
The Tiffany & Co. Foundation
Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation
National Parks Conservation Association
Van Alen Institute
Envisioning Gateway was held in anticipation of the National Park Service Centennial in 2016, which will provide an opportunity to reinvest in Gateway by focusing on a renewed commitment to environmental education based on an understanding that "nature" in urban environments is complex, actively constructed, and dynamic. With additional support from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, Van Alen Institute, NPCA and Columbia GSAPP are excited to present their book about the competition and the future of urban nature, Gateway: Visions for an Urban National Park, now available from Princeton Architectural Press. Find out more here.
For more information visit:
Gateway National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service)
National Parks Conservation Association
Designing the Parks Conference
National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy
Competition entries are now available in VAI's online Design Archive.