About Site

Gowanus is a neighborhood in the northwestern portion of the NYC borough of Brooklyn. It was a former industrial zone. Today, here is a developing area. Many classic row-houses and warehouses have been converted into restaurants, bars and art galleries. More new real estates became available.


The site is located at the west bank of the Gowanus Canal between Huntington Street and 5th Street. It is a vacant, city-owned parcel of land which is enclosed by traffic on three sides.


The community in the nearby area is diverse, and has a fair amount of foot traffic. After dark, the neighborhood livens up as young professionals and spillover from the nearby Barclays Center arena head to the trendy bars, casual eateries and funky music venues around 4th Avenue.

Design Questions

By the end of the 19th century, the water and much of the land along the banks of the Gowanus Canal have been severely polluted by massive industrial use. After decades of attempts at cleanup, the environment and the water quality is improving enough now. Upon completion of this cleanup, the site was to be turned over to the New York City Parks Department and be designated as a "public recreation space".

A group of residents envisioned a community-led proposal, namely Gowanus Lands, to create a parkland for public use in the heart of Gowanus. According to historical background of pollution and community‘s hope to add the idea for a larger park, there are 3 key design questions:

  • How to create a joyful, engaged and relaxing space in the middle of this industrial complex for local community?
  • How to improve visitors' unfavorable impression of the site because of the pollution and foul smells arising from the waterway?
  • How to reduce amount of noise produced by the F and G line, which runs above-ground along the west side of the site?


In order to address above questions, the concept is to design a natural & organic waterfront park and immersive experience with:

Embracing Waterfall is smoothly curved. Pedestrians can sit on the outer ring of the circle, or sit in the inner ring and dip their toes into a shallow pool in summer.

Grassy Greenery to facilitate a fantastical environment. Bended Walkways & Staircases have a poetic charm, also moderate the height difference between the two ends of the park.

Rolling Hills has versatile features. Soft grasses grow on the surfaces. Pedestrians can comfortably sit, climb and play on these hill-shaped structures.

Site Plan

3D Landscape Rendering

VR Walkthrough

Team Members

XR for the Real World

Elijah Xia

3D Modeling
3D Rendering

Nora Zhang

Unity Developer

Yichan Wang

3D Modeling

Anthony Deen