This project is the first phase of the transformation of the Greenpoint–Williamsburg waterfront from a decaying industrial strip to a multifaceted public park.

The Client: NYC Department of Parks and Recreation

The Team:
Kiss + Cathcart, Architects
Starr Whitehouse, Landscape Architects and Planners
Robert Silman Associates, Structural Engineers
AG Consulting Engineering, MEP Engineers
Langan Engineering & Environmental Services
AWA Lighting Designers
Roofmeadow Associates, Green Roof Design
Wesler Cohen, Site Engineering

Project Details and Awards:

15,000 sf building; 6.1 acre park

Completion: 2014
LEED Platinum
NYC Public Design Commission Award 2008

AIA COTE Top Ten Green Building 2014
AIA New York COTE 2015
ALSA NY Award 2013 (Starr Whitehouse)
ArchDaily top 100 projects in the US 2016

Bushwick Inlet Park By Kiss + Cathcart, Architects - Sheet3
©Paul Warchol

K+C’s team integrated a program of play fields, public meeting rooms, classrooms, and Park maintenance facilities, into a city-block sized site. The Park building becomes a green hill on the west side, making 100% of the site usable to the public, and offering views to Manhattan.

Below the green roof is a complex web of building systems – ground source heat pump loops for efficient heating and cooling, radiant slabs, and rainwater harvest and storage, and drip irrigation systems. A solar trellis produces more than half the energy used in the building.

Rainwater is collected from paved surfaces on the hill to irrigate the green roof slope. All other rainwater infiltrates into the ground or passes through a tidal wetland landscape at the river’s edge – no storm water is sent to New York’s combined sewer system.

Honored with many awards and public acclaim, the project is one of the greenest in New York City.

Bushwick Inlet Park By Kiss + Cathcart, Architects - Sheet5
©Paul Warchol


Originally salt marshes, then developed for farmland, the waterfront was transformed by shipping and industry in the mid 19th century. Since the Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal left the site in the 1980s, the waterfront has been neglected and underused. Prior to our development the site was a parking lot, above ground contaminated by a manufactured gas plant to the north.

The local neighborhoods are cut off from the decaying waterfront, and underserved by parks. The 2005 Greenpoint – Williamsburg Master Plan, by Edaw / Aecom and Weisz + Yoes Architecture, aimed to reconnect the water- front to the surrounding communities, at the same time as restoring the ecological waterfront edge and providing parkland to the community.

Bushwick Inlet Park By Kiss + Cathcart, Architects - Sheet6
©Paul Warchol


Pre-development the site was almost 100% impervious, with storm water discharging directly to the river. Our design eliminates direct storm water discharge to the river. Most of the site is now pervious, allowing water to recharge into the watershed, and storm water from impervious areas either gets used for irrigation, or is collected, filtered, and discharged slowly to a freshwater pool.

The landscape design uses native plants to restore ecological productivity and provide habitat.


The building structure is high fly ash concrete. The wall back up is AAC block, for its insulating properties and light weight. The façade materials are brick and a re- cycled paper/resin rainscreen.

Bushwick Inlet Park By Kiss + Cathcart, Architects - Sheet7
©Paul Warchol


Bushwick Inlet Park has a high performance building envelope and systems, including ground source heat pumps, and radiant floor heating. Energy modeling calculates it will save 34% of energy compared to Ashrae 90/1-2004 baseline. A 66 kW photovoltaic array on the hilltop trellis will generate more than half the energy used in the building. Although the building is conceptually underground below the green roof, every occupied space is day lit.


Rainwater is collected from plazas and the roof canopy, stored in a 20,000 gallon below ground tank and used for irrigation of the green roof. No city water will be used to irrigate the hill.

Bushwick Inlet Park By Kiss + Cathcart, Architects - Sheet8
©Paul Warchol


Since 1898, the Art Commission (now the Public Design Commission) has reviewed and recognized works of public art and architecture in New York City. Bushwick Inlet Park won the 2008 Design Award.


Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.

Write A Comment