A gift for 400 years of friendship

Friday 11 Sep 2009

New Amsterdam Pavilion opens in Battery Park

UN Studio's Ben van Berkel was present on Wednesday to gift New Yorkers with a symbol of friendship celebrating 400 years of New York and The Netherlands collaboration. The New Amsterdam Pavilion opened in Battery Park's Peter Minuit Plaza and will be the centrepiece for regeneration of the Battery district. It is expected to attract 6 million visitors and will be fully integrated into its surroundings when the landscaping completes in Spring.

The low-rise glass and concrete structure by the Dutch architect takes the form of a four pointed windmill on its back. The enclosed structure is a serviced digital information centre which will feed visitors with information about Battery, the wider New York area and information on events taking place in The Netherlands. It will also house catering facilities with seating on the surrounding Plein.

The opening of the pavilion marks the day, 400 years ago, when the first Dutch ship, the Half Moon, arrived at the shores of New York and led to the establishment of New Amsterdam (as New York was then called).

Part of Battery Park's Peter Minuit Plaza will be renamed the New Amsterdam Plein making this a permanent reminder of the Dutch ancestry on the banks of the city. Ben van Berkel said it's location was, “the ideal site for a permanent commemoration of 400 years of Dutch history in New York because it is steeped in a sense of a shared past and looks directly toward the harbour where Henry Hudson sailed. It is also focused on the future by virtue of its role as a modern transportation hub within the constantly changing scene of Lower Manhattan. This is a site where history meets the future.”

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