Clason Point Pool
Clason Point Terminal is a midsize institutional building. The program brings together a food incubator, marketplace, warehouse, and ferry terminal on a peninusla in the South Bronx. New York City will be expanding ferry service to Clason Point beginning in the summer of 2018. The prospect of increased commuter traffic, closer connection to Manhattan Island, threat of sea-level rise and storm surge, and a rapidly changing demographic in the Bronx conditioned the brief.
From historical research about the site, I discovered that it always had a close relationship with the water’s edge. It was the location of Clason Point Park at the turn-of-the-century. One of Clason Point Park’s main attractions was an enormous saltwater pool known colloquially as “the Inkwell.” When the era of amusement parks drew to a close, the site was remade as Shorehaven Beach Club -- which also had a colossal outdoor pool fed from the waters of the East River. I conceptualized my project as a response to these episodes in the site’s history, ghosting some of these water features and riffing on the post-and-deck construction of the earlier buildings. The building is an infrastructural bridge that spans between two edges: the boat launch and the park. Beneath the bridge, a decked marketplace focused around a reflecting pool meets the water. A sheltered harbor invites visitors by kayak and rowboat from the adjacent parks. A colonnaded walk stiches the scheme together, marking a pathway from the road to the ferry pier over land and water.
YALE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE | Fall 2017 | Studio 3: Building
Peter de Bretteville, critic