Francis Lewis Park playground, a popular playground in the College Point neighborhood of Queens, received a second lease on life when Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Bridges and Tunnels commissioned the playground relocation during the construction of a new approach to the Whitestone Bridge. The redesigned playground nestled on the banks of the Long Island Sound is firmly anchored in the surrounding landscape through a strong ‘Bridge and Boulder’ play theme, a naturalistic bridge walk and a sequence of shower sprays. Sustainable design features, such as permeable pavement and native raingardens used to minimize stormwater runoff from the playground. The playground’s unique feature, an accessible native garden lush with eye-catching flowering perennials and grasses, invites children to touch, smell and be delighted.
Critical to the playground design was preservation of the existing mature park canopy. The design team inventoried over 1,200 trees concurrently with site analysis and schematic design development to ensure tree preservation, optimal playground siting and to meet the client’s accelerated construction schedule.
AWARD(S): ACEC Gold Engineering Excellence Award, 2015