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Southwest Porch at Bryant Park

Winner - Silver

Competition: Spark:Space
Designer: Ignacio Ciocchini - Vice President, Design
Design Type: Outdoor Public Lounge
Company / Organization / School: Bryant Park Corporation
Website: www.bryantpark.org
Team Members: Julie Ember, Senior Urban Designer Neha Sabnis, Urban Designer Nancy Thiel, Thiel Design

Southwest Porch, an outdoor public lounge surrounding the ‘wichcraft kiosk in the southwest corner of Bryant Park, New York, has transformed one of the few underused sections of the Park into a comfortable space that serves as a gathering place, after-work drinks spot, and al fresco lunchroom for park visitors. The design of the Porch is consistent with the architecture of the existing landmarked kiosk. The design scheme includes an aluminum pergola and railings, outdoor lighting, a heating system to extend winter season use, a fire pit, and extensive utility improvements. Using aluminum made it possible to minimize the number and size of the structural elements, making the structure appear light and open. The colors inspired from the kiosk and the tree barks, combined with the soft string lights, create a cozy and intimate ambience. The pergola extends to form arches that frame views of the park. The railing system forms an open and inviting perimeter. One of the challenges was to integrate the utilities with the structure. The electrical and plumbing lines run through the patio and the posts, eliminating any loose wires visible to the public. This adds to the clean look of the design, which though new, works very well as an extension to the formal language of the kiosk. Offering comfortable seating, lush horticulture displays, food and beverage service, ‘the Porch’ has quickly become one of the park’s most beloved amenities. The porch is open and free to the public, to stop by, sit, and relax.