At the tip of Lower Manhattan, a three-acre green space in the 22-acre Battery Park may soon be home to a field of flower-shaped seats, a sea of brightly colored rocking chairs, or a plethora of pivotable chaise lounges.
Last summer, the Battery Conservancy Americas launched the “Draw Up a Chair” design competition, the first of its kind from the New York City Parks Department, calling for a moveable, outdoor chair to fill the oval lawn of Battery Green. The new park is currently under construction as part of rebuild efforts after last year’s Hurricane Sandy devastated the area. From a previously condensed pool of 50, the Conservancy has chosen the top five proposals, from firms spanning four countries. Each unique design is stackable, weatherproof, and made of recycled materials.
Full-scale prototypes of each Top 5 chair design will be on display for public examination and comfort testing in Battery City’s Castle Clinton National Monument from April 2014 through June 2014. The winner will be announced next June and awarded a $10,000 prize.
Team Project by Davi Deusdara, Érica Martins, Tais Costa, Rafael Studart, and Alencar Falcão
“The U Rock chair gives you the choice of sitting straight in a comfortable and beautiful chair or to rock it out in a fun, cool new take on the classic rocking chair. You just have to flip it over. Its design is friendly to all ages and being light, stackable and easy to carry around, it also contributes to many different social arrangements and situations.”
The chair is made of PETE plastic bottles in combination with glass fiber for a lightweight, recycled material seat.
Simon Kristak and Aiden Jamison of Independent Design Group
“The Pivot Chair is a study in dualities, ripe with qualities that encourage and accommodate different programs one finds at Battery Park. Lightweight yet durable, static yet moving, neutral yet specific, the Pivot Chair has two physical phases: upright and reclined, and the chair is set in these two positions by “pivoting” about a central leg. This allows the user to define their mode, passive or active, while within Battery Park.”
Its bent tube frames with metal slats or extended metal mesh infill are cost effective and can be manufactured locally.
Andrew Jones of Andrew Jones Design
“The design impulse for Fleurt came from imagining how a field of chairs could poetically respond to the lawn of Battery Park. Using a single chair in repetition, the view across the lawn is transformed by the whimsical suggestion of sun-loving flowers floating in a field. The chair is conceived as an open blossom; seat, back and arms are abstracted as petals and synthesized into an archetypal floral form. Constantly rearranged by visitors to the park, the chairs create a memorable, diaphanous landscape.”
Fluert chairs are made of a thin steel shell, welded and then powder coated and its base is a single bent tube. In soft blues and mauves, the chair’s colors are representative of the first blooming bulb flowers.
Jason Bird, Designer
“The South Chair concept for the Battery Park Conservatory has been designed as a unique, contemporary form for outdoor movable seating. Robust construction and marine grade, exterior materials makes this design not only a long term proposition, but the soft curves, flexible backrest and color options provide a playful aesthetic and comfortable seat for a large percentage of the public.”
A single tube frame creates an “infinite loop” and the seat and backrest are fabricated of recycled milk cartons. This material is also used for boat decking, making the South Chair resistant to salt spray and sun damage.
Maria Camarena Bernard of Maria Camarena Design
“For manufacturing three Maple Chairs a sheet of aluminum of 0.2 x 96 x 48 inches is used. The entire chair is a single piece, which with cuts and folds acquires the desired form. This will make greater use of the materials and the waste is recyclable. …The leaves on the seat and back are pictures of Silver maple leaves, a common tree in the region. The white aluminum, the pattern of the leaves and the soft and subtle shape claim to be a mantle, which instead of be placed in the grass for a picnic became a chair.”
View more details on each design here.