The Battery Conservancy, NYC Department Parks and Recreation, New York, New York
Commissioned to upgrade over four acres of the Battery, Saratoga Associates drew upon the verdant marshes and towering forests that greeted Dutch explorers in New York City 400 years ago.
Under Saratoga Associate’s lead, the design team set about in recapturing that lost wilderness. The Battery Bosque features a series of romantic garden “rooms,” joined by meandering soft-surface paths, densely planted with tall native grasses and perennials, conceived by Dutch garden designer, Piet Oudolf.
The firm devised ways to incorporate the park’s many uses into the naturalistic setting. Solutions included a granite at-grade fountain that serves as both a sprinkler for children and a paved surface for events.
A new vocabulary was developed to reinforce the curvilinear plan. Weisz+Yoes Architects crafted custom curved wooden benches that hug the garden beds, and a horizontally slatted wooden snack kiosk. Tillett Lighting designed romantic “firefly” lights, tucked amidst the plantings. Foot chimes, embedded in the ground, draw in children. The design elegantly incorporates air vents, utilities, and drainage, which are at times only one foot below the surface. Through a successful collaboration, the Bosque has been transformed from a gritty extension of the urban environment into an extensively visited, major luxurious city excursion destination.