PORTABLE PARK is a reconfigurable furniture cube that will engage visitors in the shaping of the urban landscape of Battery Park. Through innovative materials, saturated colors, and playful forms, Portable Park invites participation and interaction by residents and visitors. Portable Park acts as a three-dimensional puzzle-like set at the scale of the human body, as it can be configured into a myriad of shapes to support the incredible range of activities happening in and around the Green. The iconic furniture can act as a seat on which to rest and meditate on the history surrounding you, a stool to sit and read, a bench where you can put your feet up after a long bike ride along the waterfront, a counter to lean on while you listen to the music from concerts at Castle Clinton, and a table around which to gather and eat with friends.
The outdoor furniture set is constructed of fiberglass and soy-based eco-resin, a composite material that is lightweight, weatherproof, and durable. We have sought advice from fabricators and carried out sample material tests in order to explore this production method. Each piece is easily moved and reconfigured by a single person, but strong enough to support significant weight and durable enough to last many years. This unique method of production, an asymmetrical wrapping around a reusable form, yields both a structurally robust geometry and an iconic form that will become a recognizable symbol of the new Battery Green.
Each set of thirteen pieces packs efficiently into a 3’-8” cube that can easily be stored and transported for use across the varied landscape of Battery Park. Each cube is made up of 7 distinct shapes which are designed to relate to the dimensions of the human body. The modular measurements correspond to a variety of scenarios, including an adult seat (1’-4”), a child seat (1’-0”), and a day bed or standing counter (3’-8”). The elements are designed to work as separate elements, as in the case of a set of small cubes gathered for a lecture, or in combination, as in an L-shape resting on a cube to act as a table and allow feet to slide underneath.
The new Battery Green will become a vibrant gathering place and the epicenter of the bustling culture of New York’s downtown. Designed to suit the vibrancy and vitality of the Green, Portable Park will be an innovative and delightful addition to this public space. Portable Park proposes a distinct new vision for the way urban green spaces are utilized and perceived, allowing users to shape and punctuate the space they occupy. Battery Park hosts six million visitors a year, and its incredible array of programs demands a seating solution that is flexible and responsive. Portable Park adds vibrant sculptural elements to the Park, all the while responding to the needs of the public, offering a place to sit, recline, eat, contemplate, and gather, while experiencing the wonder and exhilaration of Battery Park.