Teardrop Park is a 1.8-acre public park in lower Manhattan that transcends its small size, shady environment, and mid-block location through bold topography, complex irregular space, and robust plantings. Teardrop’s design and construction were coordinated with the development of four surrounding apartment buildings, each ranging from 210 feet to 235 feet in height.
In the development of Teardrop Park, sustainability was not merely a goal, but rather an organizing principle that influenced everything from material selection to contractor practices. Based on decades-long research into urban soils and non-toxic plant maintenance, environmental aspects of the park’s design include fully organic soils and maintenance regimes that don’t rely on pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. Treated and recycled graywater from the adjacent LEED Gold-rated Solaire Building and stormwater runoff from the site are captured in an underground storage pipe, supplying all of the park’s irrigation needs.
As children are considered Teardrop’s most important users, the park is designed to address the urban child’s lack of natural experience, offering adventure and sanctuary while also engaging mind and body. Site topography, water features, natural stone, and lush plantings contribute to an exciting world of natural textures, dramatic changes in scale, and intricately choreographed views.
Teardrop Park received a 2009 ASLA Design Honor Award.