Gowanus Green is a proposed neighborhood of sustainable mixed-income housing, parks, community facilities, and retail that will reclaim a brownfield site along Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal. The master plan by Rogers Marvel, Starr Whitehouse and West 8 dedicates over 60% of the project site to public open space and integrates the landscape design with comprehensive stormwater management. Water moves from green roofs and upland areas through the Rain Garden, an intensively programmed space with play areas and gardens, along the Swale Trail, a richly planted rill, arriving at Canal Park in a wet meadow Meditation Garden, the last stop before joining the Gowanus Canal. The transformation of urban runoff through a living watercourse provides a narrative of urban reclamation.
Starr Whitehouse is designing the outdoor spaces of Gowanus Green and preparing compliance documentation for the newly-revised design standards of NYC’s Waterfront Zoning. Accessible from three entrances, Canal Park will be a 1.6 acre City-owned space, featuring an undulating lawn, a waterfront esplanade, an outdoor amphitheatre and a series of native woodland and meadow gardens. These landscapes are framed by the residential buildings with a ground floor gallery, restaurant and community center opening onto expansive terraces with flowering trees and ample seating. The dynamic relationship of the ground floor uses and the park land contribute to an engaging, active public space.