UNStudio‘s New Amsterdam Pavilion unveiled today in Battery Park, New York. The New Amsterdam Plein and Pavilion, commissioned by the Battery Conservancy, is a gift from the Netherlands to New York in honour of 400 years of friendship.
+ Press release courtesy of UNStudio
September 9, 2009, NEW YORK, NY
Today the official unveiling ceremony of Ben van Berkel / UNStudio’s New Amsterdam Pavilion will take place in Battery Park, New York. The unveiling of the completed exterior structure of the New Amsterdam Pavilion will be carried out by guests of honour the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, the Mayor of the City of New York Michael R. Bloomberg, Under Secretary of State Judith A. McHale, and Frans Timmermans the Dutch Minister for European Affairs. The unveiling ceremony will take place at 11 am on the Peter Minuit Plaza in Battery Park.
The New Amsterdam Plein and Pavilion, commissioned by the Battery Conservancy, is a gift from the Netherlands to New York in honour of 400 years of friendship. When completed, the Plein and Pavilion is expected to attract over 6 million visitors annually. The Pavilion will provide digital information points acquainting visitors with both the surrounding neighbourhood and New York City, as well as providing information about events in The Netherlands. The Pavilion will also serve as a food and beverage outlet, with seating provided on the surrounding Plein (plein is Dutch for civic plaza or square). Part of Battery Park’s Peter Minuit Plaza will be renamed New Amsterdam Plein and together with the Pavilion will provide an attractive gathering place for New Yorkers, commuters, and tourists, as well as serving as a tribute to our common history and shared values.
This location is, in the words of architect Ben van Berkel,
the ideal site for a permanent commemoration of 400 years of Dutch history in New York because it is steeped in a sense of a shared past and looks directly toward the harbour where Henry Hudson sailed. It is also focused on the future by virtue of its role as a modern transportation hub within the constantly changing scene of Lower Manhattan. This is a site where history meets the future.
The New Amsterdam Pavilion will offer, according to Warrie Price (pictured below), Founder and President of The Battery Conservancy,
a superb culinary experience, great visitor orientation information and materials, and an iconic, recognizable spot for residents and visitors to rendezvous.
According to van Berkel
The Pavilion’s completed roof and undulating sidewalls glow with polished white surfaces, which frame the fritted glass enclosures. These four wings radiate from a center oculus, which is punctuated by polished aluminum grill work, facilitating the ventilation of the building. The pavilion will be equipped with an electronic LED facade system that allows for a constantly changing light show at night, an experience that will carry the animation and drama of the day into the evening.
The New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion is made possible by a grant from the government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to The Battery Conservancy as part of the NY400 celebration and in honour of the enduring relationship between New York and Holland. Handel Architects LLP, New York, serve as the executive architect, working in collaboration with UNStudio. Buro Happold joined the team for engineering & sustainability consultancy and worked with UNStudio on the lighting design.