Mountain, river, forest: Design teams reimagine Park Avenue

Floating Garden, a finalist for the ‘Beyond the Centreline’ competition. — AFP pic
Floating Garden, a finalist for the ‘Beyond the Centreline’ competition. — AFP pic

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NEW YORK, March 5 — A design competition asked participants to reimagine the traffic medians on a stretch of New York’s Park Avenue, and the resulting ideas — which include a mountain, an aquarium and a river — will go up for a public vote today.

New York real estate firm Fisher Brothers is behind the privately funded “Beyond the Centreline” competition, which brought in nearly 150 entries that a jury then honed down to 17 finalists.

The challenge for participants: to “re-envision and enliven” the traffic medians of the Park Avenue commercial district between 46th and 57th streets, developing creative ideas unencumbered by zoning code, cost, weight limit or other restrictions.

The resulting designs incorporate not only the medians but also the above, below and surrounding areas. In addition to adding seating areas, landscaping, green spaces and walking paths, the finalists envisioned novelties such as an aquarium, an Alpine mountain, a forest, a wandering river, 30-foot-tall field stalks, a “plant circus” and a plant whose leaves open and close to the rhythm of the trains below.

Also found among the entries are proposals for carnival rides, a yoga studio, mini-golf, a skate park and kayaking.

The top 17 designs will be displayed in the public arcade of Park Avenue Plaza from March 5-9. Two winners will then be announced on March 13: A grand prize winner selected by the jury and taking home US$25,000 (RM97,425), plus the winner of a popular vote, with a prize of US$5,000.

Public voting for US residents starts today at — AFP-Relaxnews

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