Far Rockaway Beach was one of five new regional parks envisioned by Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC goals. After an extensive community planning effort a new park with playgrounds, skate parks, lounges, performance spaces, shade structures and a beach appropriate landscape emerged.
In August of 2012, its 28 acres along the beach were opened to the public. Two months later, Hurricane Sandy hit the Rockaways. With the help of volunteers the park was dug out and reopened. The Park design, including its elevated grade and the health of the dune landscape, allowed Far Rockaway Park to come through the storm without permanent damage.
The park master plan, developed plan in collaboration with landscape architects Quennell Rothschild & Partners, identified a need for three unique structures housing new beach amenities: a performance canopy; a boardwalk overlook at Beach 20 Street; and a new comfort station at Beach 30 Street. Located along primary paths that link the neighborhood to the boardwalk, each structure is situated to interact effectively with the landscape. Inspired by imagery of beach-going New Yorkers enjoying the Rockaways, an engaging vocabulary of forms was invented to be reminiscent of parasols, gull wings and fabric flapping in the wind to give a strong identity to these gathering places.