Linnaea Tillett graces the Battery Bosque along the Hudson with subtle nighttime lighting
Architects & Firms
New York City
Poised on the southern tip of Manhattan, just blocks from the World Trade Center redevelopment site, Battery Park is one of New York City’s oldest open public spaces along the Hudson River. At the forefront of ongoing, post-9/11 renewal programs in Lower Manhattan is the revival of the Battery Bosque, a park-within-a-park, which was recently renovated to promote quiet recreation, the display of public art, and the community’s enjoyment of unrivaled vistas of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty.
The refurbishment project, sponsored and funded by the New York City Parks and Recreation Department, in collaboration with the nonprofit group the Battery Conservancy, is a makeover of the 3-acre pocket park situated adjacent to the neighborhoods of SoHo and Tribeca. With the redesign, it’s now a welcome social oasis on the western fringe of Manhattan.
The Bosque was the creative brainchild of Dutch landscape design superstar Piet Oudolf (who had previously created the environmentally sustainable gardens and performance lawn of Frank O. Gehry’s Millennium Park concert pavilion in Chicago, among many other high-profile assignments). The Saratoga Associates and Wiesz + Yoes Architecture were the landscape architect and designer, respectively, of the architectural elements of the Bosque.
Yet after dusk in Manhattan, what is a stroll along the river without the effect of dappled moonlight filtered through leafy trees, or perhaps harbor lights diffused by incoming fog? (Think Woody Allen’s moody black-and-white cinematography in the cinema classic Manhattan.)
Adding a crucial extra level of aesthetic sophistication to the Bosque’s design is subtle illumination conceived by consultant Linnaea Tillett, principal of Brooklyn-based Tillett Lighting Design. With only a handful of custom bollards and an array of fountain uplights, she and her colleagues have “cast light up through the water of the fountain, and riffed off the play of harbor lights cascading along the Hudson River,” she says. Technically proficient as it is deceptively simple—the lighting helps to create a “ ‘living-room-style’ rest area of sorts for the local community,” according to project client Laurie Price, director of the Battery Conservancy. “Local citizens with children have never felt safer or more content coming over to this zone at night,” she affirms.
Fountain effects and lighting
In-grade metal-halide uplights, and pole-mounted floodlights