Art & Architecture + [Waterfront]

La Marina by Andrew Franz Architect

Architecture and design firm Andrew Franz Architect Pllc has announced that La Marina, a new waterfront development project including two new buildings with a restaurant and café on the Hudson River near Inwood Hill Park, opened officially this week. the waterfront architecture sets the stage for new public amenities that are already drawing people from around the city, with a new marina to come later.

New York's Mayor Bloomberg attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony with a large group of dignitaries, including New York City Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

“This is great news for the city of New York, making even more of our beautiful waterfront available for public enjoyment,” says Franz. “It’s one of the last undeveloped parcels of waterfront in Manhattan, and the Manhattan River Group’s plan has been praised by city parks officials and riverfront activists alike.” the project is also promoted as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s Waterfront Action Agenda, adds Franz, and will revive a site once known only for derelict boats.

Positioned as a “landmark destination” along the Hudson River pedestrian and bike path, the project location benefits from major parkland redevelopment. Nearby amenities include a newly restored Art Deco railroad building that will have public bathrooms, and a planned extension of the Manhattan Greenway to connect Dyckman Street and Upper Manhattan to other waterfront greenway projects south of the George Washington Bridge, says Manhattan River Group partner, Jerald Tenenbaum.

Andrew Franz, Ra, a Leed-accredited architect and designer known for fresh, timeless designs, was recruited to the Dyckman Landing project this past spring to bring new energy and his firm’s signature style to the effort. Struck immediately by the unique waterfront experience offered by the site, Franz planned to capitalize on its sense of arrival and its low, rocky outcropping.

The uniqueness and rawness of the flat site inspired Franz to break up the robust program into a series of smaller, unimposing building modules. the grouping culminates in an open pavilion serving gatherings of up to 300 people along the water, with large glass doors to shield from the weather as needed. the structures are clustered around a shaded courtyard, inspired by the nearby Cloisters Museum and Gardens, with a large mature tree.

The marina and restaurant, designed by Andrew Franz Architect, are also expected to draw bicyclists, boaters and diners from across New York, Westchester County and New Jersey with the lure of an aesthetically appealing waterfront, a well-run marina, great food and a proactive approach to improving river ecology.

The new site design, completed by Andrew Franz Architect to Manhattan River Group Llc’s specifications, includes four distinct zones: an integrated parking and staging area; a full service restaurant and snack/picnic window open to the public; the marina and launch area with a 22-slip dock, ship store and sailing school; and an area for a casual waterfront lounge running between the Hudson’s shore on the west and the Manhattan Greenway to the east.