Highbridge Park, as constructed under the direction of Robert Moses in 1936, expresses many of the architectural traits central to followers of the beaux-arts tradition in architecture: lateral symmetry, columns, and a hierarchical treatment of spaces. This WPA project is a valued piece of New York’s history. The intent of our design is not to disguise this WPA project but to enter into a conspicuous dialogue with the structure’s history. The proportion, structure, and connections in our design are grounded in the surrounding community’s current needs but also purposes to thoughtfully contrast with the original designer’s meaning to lay the argument for ongoing discussion.
The construction of the Splash House, last years Design Workshop project, moves summer pool goers locker rooms and changing spaces onto the pool deck, pulling circulation to this seasonal program to the north and south edges of the exterior of the building. This allows the front entrance of the Highbridge Play Center to function autonomously of pool activities and permits uninterrupted activity inside the facility. The current configuration of the Play Center is centered around an open air peristyle space which connects the north and south wings. The intent of this project is to enclose this center space, enabling year round access to the historic center.
We have spent this spring semester drawing, modeling, and refining our design. Highbridge In_flux has developed as a mixture of fun and function, and we are confident that it will be a great benefit for the Washington Heights community. We are excited to begin construction this summer and share our journey with you.