EXCITING MILE-STONES: (Left) The structure for the men’s changing area is in place. (Right) Rendered view of what the same spot will look like upon completion.

The Splash House Team is going great guns on their project up at Highbridge Park and are looking for extra hands willing to lend some committed energetic volunteer work!

We can use any currently enrolled SCE students, (not graduates, sorry, we still love you though), who are in town in August sometime from now till the start of school on the 29th.

Lend an afternoon, a day, a few days, a weekend, a couple of weeks whatever you can be relied on to commit to help out. Bring your suit for free swim breaks! We’d love to see you up at the park, and any help would be greatly appreciated. Even if it’s just for a few hours.

If you’d like to help out and have some fun in the process contact Alfred Zollinger, the Director Design Workshop, or speak with any member of the Design Workshop Team.


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This gallery contains 12 photos.

We’ve made huge strides in the past days. The foundations have been poured, the columns have been raised, segments of the spine are in place, and the first rib has been completed. Onwards and upwards! Check out the photos, or … Continue reading

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Render: 2011 Design Workshop: Players from Major League  Soccer will be volunteering at the Splash House Tuesday July 26th!

At 9:30 on Tuesday, July 26th players from Major League Soccer will be at the Splash House to help out with construction! Players will be at the Highbridge Park Pool to support the Washington Heights community by volunteering their time building and painting the new pool pavilions.

Also, if you are interested in helping out, we are welcoming adult volunteers to join us in a community service project to spruce up the pool area and work on key components of the Splash House. Please call (212) 360-3445 or email for more info.

Then, later in the day, academy coaches from the Red Bulls and the Claudio Reyna Foundation conduct a clinic for approximately 100 local children. The classes start at noon, and will be held just a few steps away from the Splash House at Ball-field #1 in Highbridge Park at 172nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue.

The event is being held in collaboration with The Home Depot, a sponsor of Major League Soccer as well as a generous donor to the Splash House.

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Historic New York: The Highbridge

Photo: 2011 Design Workshop: The tower and Pool will featured on a walking tour this Sunday, the 10th, at 1pm.

As if the massive swimming pool isn’t enought to get you up to the park for the weekend, the Urban Park Rangers Association is offering another great free tour on the history of the Highbridge Park area this Sunday, July 10th;

Architecture and the history of the Hudson River are explained at Manhattan’s Little Red Lighthouse and Highbridge Park. Native American culture is celebrated in special programs and lectures and park history programs tell the story of your favorite parks from the past to their future. Ice-age glaciers, Native Americans, Dutch traders, British Redcoats, and the Underground Railroad have all left their mark on New York City. Their stories can be found in the names of our streets, our architecture, and our parks. Urban Park Rangers specialize in interpretation of historic turning points, both natural and man-made, in our city’s long history.

The tour starts at 1pm on Sunday July 10. Meet at the entrance to the park at 174th street and Amsterdam Avenue. Free to all!

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Photo: 2011 Design Workshop:
Drop by the HIghbridge Pool this summer & take a peek at the Splash House.

The Highbridge Park Pools are now open for the season! So swing on up to Washington Heights for a quick swim and to say, “Hi!” to the Design Workshop team as we continue to build the Splash House.

It’s a wonderful way to beat the heat on a hot summer day. The water is refreshing and cool. Plus, the pool is built on the site of the old Croton Reservoir, one of the highest spots in Manhattan, so there is a wonderful hilltop breeze that blows across the water for most of the day.

Free to all. Outdoor pool hours are from 11:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m., with a break for pool cleaning between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Bring a towel, as well as a lock if you need a storage locker.

The pool is located at Amsterdam Ave. and W. 173rd Street in Northern Manhattan and is only a few blocks from the 168 Street – Washington Hts subway station on the (A) or (C) trains.

Can’t wait to see you here!

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Photo: 2011 Design Workshop: The first bit of deck is hammered away by Michael Brotherton in the Design Workshop bobcat.

It’s been an exciting week as construction has begun on the Splash House! The construction site has been fenced off. The storage containers are on site. The bobcat is gassed up and zipping around the pool deck.

The first few days have been immensely gratifying, as all our design work has started to take physical form. A delivery of prefabricated steel has arrived, as well as several pallets of absolutely gourgeous reclaimed ceder that will be used for benches. The glulams which will ultimately form the buildings structural spine are stacked out back, and the re/bar for the the concrete pours has been bent, shaped, and tied, and will soon be used in the column footings.

We’ve stated to punch through the deck, and the majority of the 23 holes that need to be made have been marked, drilled, sawed, and then chipped away with the pneumatic hammer.

Stayed tuned for more updates over the next few days!

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The Splash House was issued a New York City Building Permit on June 24th! Our plans have been approved by the city and now work can get underway! We have moved both the team and our equipment up to the site, and we’re eager to get the hammers swinging.

New York City laws require that one or more permits be obtained before starting construction work. Permits are needed whenever a new structure can be built, or an existing structure is altered or demolished in any of the five buroughs. The Department of Buildings provides permits. It’s how the city ensures that each project complies with building codes and meets current safety standards and zoning requirements. For more info on the process that we went through, click here!

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Photo: 2011 Design Workshop
: LPC reviews the Splash House in the public hearing chamber at One Center Street.

The designs for the Splash House were approved yesterday afternoon with a quick unanimous vote from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC).

Reasons cited for the swift approval centered around the design’s respect for the existing structure. This included the Splash House’s transparent nature, which allows the rear facade of the Recreation Center to remain readable. Also noted was the way in which the rhythm of the original structural bays was adopted for the rib and post system of the new pavilions. The session ended with several comments that commended the effective collaboration between the NYC Parks Department, and Parsons SCE.

The Splash House is located in rear of the Highbridge Pool and Recreation Center, which was granted landmark status in 2007. The complex was designed by architect Aymar Embury II, during the Robert Moses era, as part of the Works Progress Administration’s push to create jobs during the Great Depression. It was completed, and opened to the public, in 1936. To read full designation, please click here.


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Photo: Courtesy of NYC Parks. Proposed view from the Bronx. 

The High Bridge has passed one of the last hurdles on the way towards it’s 2013 reopening, with it’s design gaining approval from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.  When it opens, the High Bridge will create a much needed pedestrian link between Northern Manhattan and the Bronx, opening the way for an increased flow of guests to both Highbridge park, and the Highbridge Recreation Center and Pool.

The Landmarked bridge is the oldest surviving bridge in New York City. It was constructed in 1848 as an aqueduct, for the next 50 years was the sole source of fresh water to the city. The inflow of water was brought to a reservoir that previously stood on the site of what is now the Highbridge Park Pool. The bridge was closed to the public soon after it gained it’s landmark status in 1970, due to disrepair and criminal incidents.

Plans for the new project, due for completion in 2013, include a physical restoration and the installation of access ramps, viewing platforms, and lighting.

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The Splash House team will be holding a public presentation and exhibition of work as part of the Parsons Design Festival.  We will be showing our latest drawings, renderings and models; as well as offering discussion and discourse on architecture, architectural education, and the nature of the design/build project.

The show will be on May 18th at the Dongia Gallery, 25 East 13th Street, NYC. Doors Open at 5PM. All members of the public are welcome.

For more information about other School of the Constructed Environment exhibits that are part of the Parsons Design Festival click here.
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