By sculpting land and built forms into a coherent relationship with the existing urban fabric, the NYC2012 Olympic Village leaves a legacy to the city, creating a new architectural DNA that will function as a stimulus for creative development of the adjacent urban areas for years to come.
A multi-layered, three-dimensional urban organization emphasizes the interaction between water, landscape, building, and program. Six distinct zones of parkland weave through, around, and under buildings on the site. During the Olympics, the more densely developed, northern area of the Village accommodates all International Zone functions in a secure, contained environment, visually and physically discrete from the primary residential zone and parklands. After the Olympics, this dense area becomes a mixed-use commercial zone, with amenities such as theaters, a fitness center, and a grocery store. An undulating, ribbon-like structure, with residential towers anchoring its northern end, wraps around the edges of the site, knits together the open space, and circumscribes a park. The orientation and articulation of the residential buildings respond directly to solar and wind patterns, as well as to the site’s view corridors. A Police and Fire Station at the site’s northeastern edge, a pedestrian bridge that ties directly into Jackson and Vernon Avenues, and a pocket park at the terminus of Jackson Avenue, link the new development to the surrounding Queens community.
The community functions as a “living machine,” incorporating low energy planning initiatives, ecologically responsive landscapes, and an intelligent use of resources. Key sustainable design strategies include: conscientious site planning and design, on-site power generation, optimized water and waste management, a carbon neutral development, and maximum use of recycled and renewable materials.
Through their evolution over the last century, the Olympic Games have established a tradition of leaving an identifiable, lasting mark upon their host cities. The NYC 2012 Olympic Village advances this tradition by prioritizing open space, offering the city 43 acres of waterfront parklands. The Village plays a symbolic role in public life both during the Olympics and in its incarnation after the Games end; it will redefine the heart of the area, instilling optimism and civic pride.