The Queensway Connection – Elevating the public realm
August 2013 – January 2014
New York, USA
“Queensway Connection: Elevating the Public Realm” supported Friends of the Queensway and the Trust for Public Land in their efforts to transform an abandoned rail right-of-way into a greenway serving diverse neighbourhoods in central and southern Queens, New York City. This conversion is similar in urbanism and density to the Bloomingdale trail conversion in Chicago.
The competition sought to supplement the ongoing feasibility study for the railway’s transformation by proposing ways the future park can be activated in addition to recreation and leisure. With emphasis on the park’s access point the competition brief provided an opportunity to speculate about programming and design to extend street activity onto the railway.
Project leader – Felipe Lanuza Rilling
Associate – Yiorgos Papamanousakis
Design collaborator – Natalia Stepanova
The competition asked for a ‘vertical connection’ between the street level and platform level of a disused railway station in Queens, NYC. The rehabilitation of the station and its re-incorporation in the urban life form part of a plan of redevelopment of a 5.6 km abandoned railway branch.
The situation resembled the well-known High Line in Manhattan, but in this case the context determined a quite different approach. The call emphasised the need of the project to engage with local communities, acknowledge their cultural diversity, and propose programmes that could activate the railway and its context, beyond just offering space for stroll and contemplation.
Our proposal attempted to address the brief through a reading of the memory of the site and the qualities of its interim condition, suspended from the regular activities of its urban surroundings. The underlying question was how to effectively activate and connect this infrastructure to the city while recreating and further enhancing these values.
For the full proposal, please CLICK HERE (pdf in English)