Shane Ferro
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OBJECT LESSONS: Architecture & Design News

Bjarke Ingels’s Brooklyn Bridge Park Expansion Will Feature a “Humongous Tostito” Viewing Platform

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“A manta ray or, maybe, a humongous Tostito — in any case, a triangular platform, stepped and undulating,” writes New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman of BIG’s latest stateside project: A wooden viewing platform that will anchor the southeastern edge of a forthcoming architectural landmark on Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York City, which will also include a flowering meadow with seasonal grasses, and a sprawling field.

Kimmelman’s rhetorical flourish — who doesn’t love a good metaphor? — is a mark of affection, not ire, for the project, set for completion with help from local landscape designer Michael Van Valkenburgh. From its position on the East River waterfront, the viewing platform will crown Ingels’s $8 million, 6,000-square-foot design for the site, providing both sweeping westward views of the Lower Manhattan skyline and similarly picturesque easterly sights of the downtown Brooklyn cityscape. Sloping 17 feet into the air on stilts, the vantage point — dubbed the “Manta Ray” by Ingels himself, for its twisting steps that fan out to produce the silhouette of the namesake animal — will have corners for individual contemplation and also steps that accommodate crowds of up to 300 people for public gatherings and performances.

Kimmelman suggests only two caveats one caveat to qualify his otherwise unfettered praise for the project: The platform won’t be wheelchair accessible, and the entire project is still without financial backing. While the former may be resolved next week, when the design goes up for review at the a Public Design Commission meeting, the latter shouldn’t be difficult to resolve either. With the bevy of real estate developers angling to re-imagine downtown Brooklyn — Two Trees, Toll Brothers, and Starwood all have projects in the neighborhood — it’s safe to assume that Ingels will indeed build the most beautiful tortilla chip in architectural history. [The New York Times]

- Anna Kats

Image courtesy of BIG

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Comments

  1. Small but significant correction- the platform IS ADA accessible including wheelchair use. The warped manta ray-esque geometry takes its shape from the slopes and landing requirements of ADA.

  2. Hi Bjarke! Thanks for the comment — the post has been updated.

    Best,
    Anna

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