Domino Park, a thriving new community space that pays homage to the Domino Sugar Factory originally located on the site, recently opened to the public in the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Williamsburg, USA. Offering direct waterfront access, the open space now provides exciting recreation and leisure spaces, including a playground, picnic area, kiosk and urban beach, and will offer the local community some much-needed greenspace.
Domino Park is six acres of parkland situated in front of the old redbrick Sugar Factory, developed by Two Tree in partnership with James Corner Field Operations. The park pays homage to the 1880 Sugar Factory, which was formerly the largest sugar refinery in the world.
The waterfront boulevard provides an extension of River Street and stretches from 2nd Street to Grand Street along East River, allowing for pedestrians to take in and photograph spectacular views while being shaded by a Japanese Pine garden. The boulevard features many areas for leisure and recreation, including a sloping lawn, an urban beach, a large picnic area, playing field, beach volleyball court, playground and dog run. The site also features Tacocina, a brightly coloured eatery that offers tacos, beer and cocktails.
Two Trees and James Corner Field Operations were mindful about environmental concerns throughout the construction process. The park’s platform was raised from 0.5 metres to 2 metres in order to combat potential flooding, and 175 trees were planted along the waterfront to ensure protection and sustainability.
Domino park aims to be “A living, breathing tribute to thousands of domino workers, their families and the rich tapestry of history that defines this New York community,” stated Jed Walentas, the principal of Two Trees.
A selection of old materials from the sugar factory were used throughout the park, both to minimise waste and honour the building’s rich history. Four 10-metre high cylindrical tanks that were used to collect the syrup to refine the sugar, 21 columns from the Raw Sugar warehouse and 178 metres of crane tracks have been have been used as sculptures and to add a layor of historical significance to the space.
The playground also features some of the old materials in order to create an exciting slice of history for the children to engage with, and materials such as mooring bollards, bucket elevators, dials and metres have been integrated into the Artificial Walk, a five-block-long section at the end of the site.
"We were deeply inspired by community input and the site's rich history when creating Domino Park," said Lisa Switkin of James Corner Field Operations. "The design will reconnect New Yorkers to the East River waterfront and foster interest in the history of the site and the surrounding neighbourhood."
Domino Park is dedicated to combining sustainable design and urban development practices while retaining the memories of the families who worked for generations at the iconic factory.
Domino Park is just one component of the larger redevelopment plan for the area, which will include four apartments buildings with over 2800 residences. The park itself provides an exciting new outdoor space for a community that has long been starving for outdoor recreation and leisure. The development will establish a communal framework based on history and family engagement.
Click here to read about the project's early concept.