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The Hudson Yards Plaza

The Hudson Yards Plaza brings vibrancy to the heart of the largest private development in American history, seamlessly stitching newly-minted, innovative architecture with the surrounding urban fabric. A technological achievement that supports a healthy ecosystem on the roof of a working train yard, the Plaza hosts world- class events and art exhibitions, while providing an outdoor gathering place for the transformed neighborhood and its expected 24 million annual visitors.

The contemporary design of the Hudson Yards Plaza continues the grand tradition and commitment to quality public spaces in the city. Based on intensive research, the Plaza unifies the technical and aesthetic aspects of the site: civil engineering for stormwater management, ADA and emergency access to all areas, structural engineering of the platform over the rail lines below, and connections with the architecture at ground level and above. The landscape architect managed the coordination of a complex team of design professionals and used the landscape to weave distinct design voices into a single, unifying space.

A central formal plaza combines shade trees, bold seasonally expressive horticulture, and a monumental piece of public art. Informed by the regional ecology of the Hudson Valley, the planting palette responds to carefully studied lighting and environmental conditions providing a resilient expression of place. Curated plantings selected by color and texture provide interest in all seasons, from bulbs that bloom in early spring to grasses that present richly in winter while providing habitat and fodder for migratory birds and butterflies.

This civically-focused dynamic and highly-engineered landscape provides many additional benefits from stormwater management to wildlife habitat, its achievements offering a symbolic connection to the site’s history of innovation. Form generates a variety of spaces, seamless circulation, and universal accessibility at the convergence of the High Line and Hudson Park and Boulevard, with inherent flexibility to host diverse events of varying scales.

Name of the project: The Hudson Yards Plaza
Project category: Public Project
Role of the entrant in the project: Landscape Architect, Design Lead
Other designers involved in the design of landscape: Architect of Record – Kohn Pedersen Fox; Structural Engineer – Thornton Tomasetti; Soil Consultant – Pine and Swallow Environmental Services; Horticulturalist – Patrick Cullina; Civil Engineer – Sherwood Design Engineer; QA / QC – Tony Sinkovsky, 110CDCO Inc; Transportation Engineer – Philip Habib & Associates; Lighting Designer – L’Observatoire; Irrigation Designer – Northern Designs
Project location: Hudson Yards, New York, New York 10001, United States
Design year: 2013 – 2019
Year Built: 2019

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