Public art and landscaping
The sculptural details produced by Michael Singer’s studio in collaboration with the team operate on several levels at once: The curb, which keeps people from slipping over into the wetland, is also a design with texture and relief; the small gaps where the curb pieces join direct the water from the path into the wetland. It is a safety feature, it is an art object, it is a water conveyance.
These pavers were designed to be permeable in areas of less traffic; mosses and herbs grow spontaneously in these cracks. The graphic scoring and relief Singer developed relate to the industrial history of the site and provide a grooved medium in which plants take root over time.
Queens Plaza was one of the first pilot projects to test New York City’s new High Performance Infrastructure Guidelines, the green guidelines intended to make the city’s landscapes and buildings more sustainable. We recycled old pavement, designed new pavers that allow the water to flow into plantings, used native and salt-tolerant plantings, and designed the landscape to slow the water down. But like many pilot projects, the intention of the project preceded changes in the government agencies with jurisdiction over the site, so that many of the green measures either fell by the wayside or became watered down.