Grimshaw to design new amphitheatre for Coney Island Park
New York’s famed yet ailing Coney Island Park is getting a much needed shot in the arm in the form of $15 million in stimulus money and a dramatic new amphitheatre designed by Grimshaw Architects.
The long dormant Coney Island Park was once a vibrant vacation mecca on New York’s waterfront where city dwellers would go to escape the bustling metropolis for a day of amusement and frivolity. Happily the park is now undergoing a massive revitalization effort that will transform it into a $1.5 billion entertainment zone with an indoor and outdoor amusement park. As part of this effort, Grimshaw Architects is designing a $47 million amphitheatre that will serve as a gateway to the area and as a symbol of the park’s new identity.
The amphitheatre will be a seasonal venue capable of accommodating a variety of performance types and sizes. Given the requirement for extremely flexibility, Grimshaw’s design calls for a mix of permanent and flexible seating, 5,000 fixed and 3,000 movable, that can be easily reconfigured to the needs of each performance and wholly transformed into a park when the lawn seating area is not in use. The amphitheatre is capped with a 60,000 sq ft green roof in the shape of a hyperbolic paraboloid that gives the structure its stunning swoop like form while serving to lighten the roof’s weight and thus its cost. Completing the roof are hundreds of strobing stage lights.
The project will be competed in 2011.