Gateway National Park:
International Design Competition
New York, New York
Gateway National Park was an international competition whose aim was to solicit innovative and sustainable solutions to the 26,607-acre park. The park is divided into three distinct ‘stations’ that are separated by the Atlantic Ocean. Consideration was given to ecological, historic, recreational, educational, access and transportation, and economic factors. In addition, the historic air field, Floyd Bennett Field– a ‘park within a park’– was to be developed within the context of the overall approach to Gateway.
The idea that drives the design for Gateway is the Constructed Wetland System. This system address several key issues. It captures stormwater or pulls existing dirty water from Jamaica Bay and filters it along the length via plantings. It is also a transportation hub. Lastly, it functions as passive and active recreational space, while acting as a interactive educational tool. Within the Constructed Wetland System, an Archimedes Screw is employed to pull dirty water from the Bay for cleansing. The Screw is powered naturally during a tidal event by the use of oscillating water columns.
Floyd Bennett Field Park uses the Constructed Wetland System to capture and clean runoff before it enters Jamaica Bay. The Park uses the historic precedent of the airfield and fuses it with that of the surrounding ecosystems and wildlife habitats. Building upon the existing rectilinear vocabulary of the runways, a new layer of ‘landscape runways’ is overlaid across the entire site. The landscape runways address bird/ wildlife grassland habitats and the encroaching forest, pedestrian and vehicular circulation, active and passive recreation, storm-water management, civic space, and a whole host of activities that the park provides.