Civic and Commercial Projects

Rockefeller Park

Battery Park City

New York, NY • Completed 1992


Oehme, van Sweden & Associates
Wolfgang Oehme
James van Sweden

Transforming a flat, sandy patch of landfill in the Hudson River, this waterfront parcel is one of 26 that constitute lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City. Van Sweden, in Gardening with Nature, wrote, “The first design challenge was to shape the land for a softer, more natural appearance.” One portion was to be a “subtle reminder of the beach environment that flourished on the site centuries ago,” while the “upland reaches” feature plantings native to the Hudson River Valley. [1]


The respect given this park by users is evidence of its success.  Although it attracts multitudes year-round for sports, entertainment, and passive recreation, it retains the natural image we originally envisioned: a timeless seashore behind rolling meadows, lush swaths of flowering perennials, and welcoming carpets of lawn.[2]

James van Sweden


Learn More

  • Battery Park City
    New York, NY 10282

Gardening with Nature, Gardening with Water, Ornamental Grasses and Process Architecture No. 130. see resources

See What's Out There Profile


[1] James Van Sweden, Gardening with Nature (New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 2003), 123.

[2] Ibid, 124.





The Photographers

Mick Hales (British-American, b. 1951)
Hales was born in England and grew up in Pakistan and Nigeria. He studied photography at the London College of Printing and moved to New York City in 1982. Hales’ work has appeared in some 37 books and in more than 270 magazine articles His editorial range includes interiors, gardens, travel, architecture, food, and sculpture.