Leslie Koch, president of the Trust for Governors Island, was canny enough to realize that one thing her little kingdom didn’t need was an oppressively chic garden with look-but-don’t-touch plantings and gold-plated views. Instead, she demanded a rare and precious thing: a space designed for the way people actually behave rather than the way architects think they ought to. Circling the island on bicycles, she and her staff are constantly watching.
These observations shaped dozens of design decisions. The future Governors Island will be dotted with tables and recliners solid enough to withstand the crowds and the scouring, sea-salted air but light enough to move around. An experiment in which a few movable hammocks were sprinkled around an open area evolved into Hammock Grove, which will look like a cross between an orchard and a shipboard berth deck. The play area will include a hammocklike mesh swing ample enough for half a dozen kids.
- NYMag on plans to redesign Governor’s Island, an abandoned military camp seven minutes away from Manhattan via ferry