The West Side of New York just got a lot greener. Manhattan’s much anticipated Hudson Yards has added 14 acres of public open space to an area already known for its parks. Two new green spaces, one known as Hudson Yards Public Square and Gardens and the other as Hudson Park & Boulevard, promise to be wildly innovative public areas for recreation, vegetation, and community gathering. As we ease into the warmer temperatures of spring, here’s what we can expect from Hudson Yards’ public space and New York City’s ever-greener West Side.
Public Square and Gardens
Fostering community was central to the vision of Thomas Woltz, lead landscape architect of Hudson Yards. With this in mind, the Public Square and Gardens became the nexus of the new neighborhood, which Woltz imagines to be “the living room of the West Side.” The culmination of the beauty and energy of the surrounding green landscapes of the High Line and Hudson River Park, the Public Square and Gardens is an unmatched public gathering space. With shops, restaurants, gardens, and an incredibly unique centerpiece called Vessel, there are countless reasons to visit. Woltz likens the area to Italy’s picturesque piazzas, full of culture, art, and community.
The Public Square and Gardens is hailed as “the smartest park ever built.” Innovative technology was essential to build this green space over the LIRR train yard. Temperatures of the train yard reach 150 degrees, requiring an intricate cooling system to create suitable conditions for plants to grow above. Thanks to a cutting-edge ventilation system, over 28,000 diverse plants and 200 trees surround the square and grow in the gardens. Plants and flowers are watered by rainwater, as every drop that falls on Hudson Yards is gathered in a 60,000 gallon tank and used for irrigation. Not only is this park cool and sustainable, it is also connected: WiFi is available throughout the expansive plaza.
Vessel is both a landmark and a work of art. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio, the structure is a stunning honeycomb of stairways that create an interactive experience. Offering countless vantage points, Vessel showcases a myriad of perspectives and breathtaking views of the city. It is open daily from 10AM-9PM.
Hudson Park & Boulevard
With its first of two phases only recently completed, Hudson Park & Boulevard is currently still under construction. This Parisian-inspired tree-lined promenade will comprise both wooded parks and open space, and will connect Hudson Yards at West 34th Street to Times Square at West 42nd Street. It is a pivotal component to the appeal of the Hudson Yards neighborhood as a vibrant, mixed-use district, easily and pleasantly accessible from other parts of the city. Grassy areas will provide recreational space and larger paved areas will allow for public gatherings and events. An urban oasis in the heart of Hudson Yards between 10th and 11th Avenues, Hudson Park & Boulevard promises to be a community hub.
March 15th is the official opening of the Hudson Yards complex, including the Public Square and Gardens. Soon the gardens will be a perfect destination for spring flowers and all of the outdoor recreation warm weather affords. Look forward to exploring this brand new part of New York City and discovering all the events at Hudson Yards in the upcoming seasons.