Seth Low Park, Brooklyn, NY

For a diverse community in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, QRP transformed a desolate rectangle of asphalt into an expansive play area complete with a synthetic turf soccer field and a second, multi-purpose field popular with tai chi practitioners, racing school kids, and tots with soccer balls. The all-weather adult fitness area is fitted with tai chi wheels, along with more traditional workout equipment. Separating the fields is a newly-planted granite paved strip equipped with shaded benches: a good place to sit back and watch the action on the fields.  Bright red misting posts cool the athletes in summer.

At the north end of the park is a movie night area; to the south, a lush zone of native trees, shrubs, and perennials.  The design incorporates many strategies for stormwater infiltration, with permeable pavers and planting beds, and a subsurface infiltration system that also provides water to the root zone of newly planted trees. Overall, permeable areas have been increased by over 50%.

The playground, designed for New York City Parks, is named for Seth Low (1850-1916), former president of Columbia College (1890-1901) – now Columbia University – and mayor of New York from 1901 to 1903.

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