The Aqua Plaza: An Idea for a New Urban Hydro-Scape Typology


A series of connected water features — “hydro-scapes” — transform Grand Army Plaza into the central node of a neighborhood water-harvesting, filtration and irrigation system that is educational, beautiful and functional.


  • elevated nursery terraces and greenhouses with public garden plots bridge the eastern roadway
  • water mist screen for film projection
  • water retention pond for collecting/ filtering water replaces north berm
  • Bailey Fountain removed; central oval becomes “Riparian Ravine” with creek surrounded by meadows

Submitted by

Eugene Kwak, Phanat Sonemangkhala
New York, NY, USA


Site Plan: The site plan shows the project envisioned as a series of various hydro-scapes, which interact with the neighborhood’s reclaimed waste water supply (i.e. storm water run-off, roof and rain water harvests). The layout relates to the surrounding cultural context (i.e library, museum, and farmers market in Prospect Park).


Representative Section: The section shows the “stadium” like profile of the project. The eastern side has multi-level programming (shops, market, vertical circulation) to ease the transition between the street and the elevated gardens. Once releaseed from the pump arches and sprinklers water flows naturally through site propelled only by gravity.


Perspective Drawing: Atop the “stadium” overlooking the nursery terraces and Brooklyn neighborhoods in the background. Local gardeners toil over their designated plots with visions of this season’s delicious crops dancing in their head.


Perspective Drawing: A night time view of the Activity Plaza being VERY ACTIVE. The water mist movie screen plays “Casablanca” on a warm summer night, while plaza patrons enjoy the ambiance of their beloved public space.


Perspective Drawing: The Riparian Ravine provides a quiet reflective space for a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is a haven for urban flora and fauna, and thus a fun place to be for wild-life explorers… young and old alike.