Reinventing Grand Army Plaza

More Projects >>

Project Partner

Grand Army Plaza Coalition

gray bar
Competition Winners
1st Place: $5,000 (a tie)
  Please Wake Me Up!
  Guillaume Derrien, Gauthier le   Romancer
  Paris, France

  Anne-Sophie Coué, Christian   Matteau, Stephane Mauget,   Chrystelle Sanaa
  Nantes, France

2nd Place: $2,000
  Urban Stripes
  Vincent Hertenberger, Andras   Jambor
  Paris, France

3rd Place: $1,000
  A Center for Brooklyn
  James Garrison, Brandt Graves,   Simon Kristak, Vanessa Moon,   Tim Peterson, Sal Tranchina,   Aaron Tweedi, Darshin Van Parijs,   Elliott White from Garrison   Architects; Michael King from   Nelson/Nygaard
  Brooklyn, New York, USA

People's Choice Award
  Anne-Sophie Coué, Christian   Matteau, Stephane Mauget,   Chrystelle Sanaa
  Nantes, France

*All competition submissions were judged anonymously by the competition jury. The Design Trust does not endorse any one of the submitted ideas.

gray bar

gray bar

Grand Army Plaza should be one of the world's great urban spaces. Designed in 1867 by Olmsted and Vaux, this magnificent 11-acre plaza is home to the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Arch, the elegant Bailey Fountain, the Greenmarket, and the entrance to Prospect Park. Despite its identity as the historic, cultural and geographic heart of Brooklyn, hazardous conditions for pedestrians and cyclists today impede access to neighborhoods, cultural institutions, and prevent use of the Plaza itself.

To catalyze Grand Army Plaza’s rebirth, the Design Trust for Public Space and the Grand Army Plaza Coalition, held an open, international ideas competitionin spring 2008 to attract visionary designs for transforming the Plaza. Entrants were encouraged to create bold visions that express the spirit of Brooklyn right now, and did not have to be realistic.

The Reinventing Grand Army Plaza ideas competition resulted in over 200 proposals - from the feasible to the fantastic - submitted from around the world. A distinguished independent jury judged the submissions through an anonymous review, and selected the top 30 proposals to be included in the public exhibit, along with the 4 prizewinning designs.
From September 13 to October 13, 2008, these visionary plans were on view in a free, outdoor, public exhibition in the center of the Plaza. Designed by the world-renowned firm Pentagram, this unprecedented exhibit allowed the public to imagine the new plans while on site. Visitors to the exhibit also had the opportunity to vote for their favorite ideas via text message in our People's Choice Award. The winner of the popular vote was "Canopy," submitted by a team of four French designers. To see all top 30 schemes, visit the People's Choice site.

This exhibit laid the groundwork for a Plaza that will be more beautiful, support a range of public events, and provide safer and easier access for pedestrians, motorists and cyclists alike. The Design Trust and the Grand Army Plaza Coalition are now working with the Departments of Transportation and Parks & Recreation on moving this project from ideas into reality.

Watch a short video of the exhibit's opening day! For additional photos of the exhibit visit the Design Trust blog.

Related Materials Schedule of Events
Ideas Competition Brief (PDF, 7.3mb)
Information on the competition requirements, history of the Plaza, neighborhood profiles, and current site conditions. This is the full brief that all competition entrants responded to.

Ideas Competition Press Release (PDF, 200kb)
Issued February 26, 2008

Exhibit Brochure (PDF, 900kb)
Complete information about the exhibit and a full schedule of events, including maps and directions.

Reinventing Grand Army Plaza Fact Sheet
(PDF, 500kb)
A short fact sheet about the competition, the exhibit, and the history and geography of Grand Army Plaza.

Reinventing Grand Army Plaza Exhibit Press Release (PDF, 500kb)
Issued September 12, 2008

30 Exhibit Schemes Info Sheet (PDF, 200kb)
Information on the 4 prize-winning proposals along with all the schemes on display in the exhibit.

Photos of the Reinventing Grand Army Plaza Exhibit Being Built
Images of the exhibit being built can be seen on the
"I (heart) Public Space" blog.

Online Press Kit Download
(Zip file, 98 mb)
Includes all materials distributed to the press on Friday, September 12th, along with selected images of the exhibit.
Reinventing Grand Army Plaza Exhibit
Sept. 13 - Oct. 13th, 2008
*A free, outdoor exhibition in the center oval of Grand Army Plaza.

Awards Ceremony & Press Conference
Friday, Sept. 12th, 11am
Bailey Fountain, Grand Army Plaza
*Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz presented awards to the competition winners. Local dignitaries in attendance included Dept. of Transportation Deputy Commissioner Bruce Schaller; Prospect Park Administrator Tupper Thomas; Council Member Letitia James; and First Deputy Commissioner of the Dept. of Parks & Recreation, Liam Kavanagh.

Exhibit Opening Day
Saturday, Sept. 13th, 11am-4pm
*The exhibit opened to the public with a celebration in the center of the plaza featuring live music, food, guided exhibit tours, and opportunities to speak with competition entrants about their visions for the plaza. The hightlight of the afternoon was a free performance by Brooklyn's own dance troupe Streb Lab for Action Mechanics (S.L.A.M.). Sweet treats from Sweet Tooth of the Tiger, a renegade bake sale, were also available.

Submissions Included in Reinventing Grand Army Plaza Exhibit  
{View all proposal images & site plans here.}

"Anchoring Grand Army Plaza"
Emilie Graham
(New York, NY, USA)

"The Aqua Plaza: An Idea for a New Urban Hydro-Scape Typology"
Eugene Kwak, Phanat Sonemangkhala from Phanat Xanamane Studio
(New York, NY, USA)

"Back to the Island"
Johannes Neumann from Architektur Neumann
(Hagen, Germany)

"Brooklyn Green Continuum: A Resilient Urban Plaza""
Flora Chen
(Jersey City, NJ, USA)

"Canopy" {First Prize}
Anne Sophie Coué, Christian Matteau, Chrystelle Sanaa, Stephane Mauget from acc&s2
(Nantes, France)

"A Center for Brooklyn" {Third Prize}
James Garrison, Brandt Graves, Simon Kristak, Vanessa Moon,Tim Peterson, Sal Tranchina, Aaron Tweedi, Darshin Van Parijs, Elliott White from Garrison Architects; Michael King from Nelson/Nygaard
(Brooklyn, NY, USA)

"City & Park Meet on Slope's Venues"
Jean-Baptiste Cueille
(Paris, France)

"Community Commons"
Jordi Safont-Tria, Lorna Asseo, Ricardo Zurita, Sandra Pires, Til Globig from Zurita Architects
(New York, NY, USA)

"Conducting Landscapes"
Tyler Caine, Antonio Dellomo, Shelby Doyle, Brandon Specketer
(New York, NY, USA)

"Counter Slope"
Na Sun, Xinghua Zhao
(Jersey City, NJ, USA)

"Curano Cor"
Andrew Sullivan and the Office of Cheryl Barton
(San Francisco, CA, USA)

"Cut + Occupy"
Joshua Barkan, Mike Ness
(New York, NY, USA)

"GAP Amplification G.A.P."
Animesh Nayak, J. Arthur Liu, Vishwadeep Deo
(Brooklyn, NY, USA)

Rebecca Kainer, Trevor Lee
(Philadelphia, PA, USA)

"Grand Army Plaza: Gateway to Brooklyn"
Asaf Yogev, Craig Tooman
Cutsogeorge Tooman & Allen Architects, P.C.
(New York, NY, USA)
"Grand Prospect Park"
Gilat Lovinger
(Brooklyn, NY, USA)

"Green Army Plaza"
Michael Arad from Handel Architects
(New York, NY, USA)

Caterina Roiatti, Robert Traboscia, Angela Amoia, Jason Atkins, Dennis Mendoza, Chun Fang Huang, Kellen Giuda, Sebastian Del Castillo from TRA Studio
(New York, NY, USA)

"The Historical Strip and the Activity Slopes"
Hugues Leclercq from Aotu Architecture Office Ltd.
(Shanghai, China)

"Making Connections in the Big Heart"
Diane Klein, Matthew Moore from Hipbone Design LLC
(New York, NY, USA)

"A Parade for Brooklyn: Cultivating Local Flavor for Grand Army Plaza"
Lori Marie Gibbs, Shin-pei Tsay
(Brooklyn, NY, USA)

"Parkbridge on Top of Superoval"
Martin Knuijt from OKRA Landschapsarchitecten
(Utrecht, The Netherlands)

"Plaza Street"
Daniel Gonzalez Brenes, Mary Lydecker
(Somerville, MA, USA)

"Please Wake Me Up!" {First Prize}
Guillaume Derrien, Gauthier le Romancer
(Paris, France)

"Prospect on Structure"
Ashley Kelly
(Brooklyn, NY, USA)

"Raised Edges"
Tsutomu Bessho
(Forest Hills, NY, USA)

"SPLAT (Social Platform for Living, Arts & Theater)"
Dan Maxfield, James Biber, James Bowman from Pentagram Architects
(New York, NY, USA)

"Urban Island or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Flatbush Ave"
Babak Bryan, Jake LaChapelle
(Brooklyn, NY, USA)

"Urban Stripes" {Second Prize}
Vincent Hertenberger, Andras Jambor
(Paris, France)

"Winning Back G.A.P."
Paul Quilligan from Quilligan Architects
(Dublin, Ireland)

© 2012 Design Trust for Public Space, 40 Worth Street, Suite 603, New York NY 10013  212.695.2432