Greenwich, CT, USA
On a plot full of potential on the front of the harbor of downtown Greenwich, the Greenwich Waterfront Development by Justin Hedde and Elizabeth Hedde of Centerbrook Architects and Planners for Fuller Development Company, Cappelli Organization intends to invigorate the waterfront and integrate it into the town’s commercial life.
For its community-oriented design, Greenwich Waterfront Development has recently been awarded a 2022 American Architecture Award by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
The Town of Greenwich requested a redevelopment plan and proposal for a 2.8-acre, 447-car municipal parking lot that occupies the harbor-front section of its “lower downtown” commercial district.
The site is effectively isolated: on its northern border, the overpasses of Interstate 95 and Metro-North Railroad cut it off from “upper downtown” and its main commercial street, Greenwich Avenue.
To the south and west, the site is bordered by Arch Street, a congested feeder street that blocks it from the harbor’s waterfront.
The Town’s POCD objective was to “strengthen the connection between upper and lower downtown by invigorating the waterfront with a mixed-use development.”
The site has several assets; it commands southern views of the harbor and beyond, toward Long Island Sound.
It is flanked to the east by the newly expanded Bruce Museum of Art and Science and to the west by the Greenwich Teen Center, the underutilized Roger Sherman Baldwin Park, and a waterfront municipal complex used by harbor police and ferries to Town-owned islands.
In order to invigorate the waterfront and integrate it into the successful commercial life of Greenwich Avenue, it was imperative that the plan encompasses a much larger portion of the Town’s southern commercial district than just the municipal parking lot.
The designers’ efforts resulted in an amplified plan that creates Greenwich Harbor Park, an elevated park and esplanade that extends eastward to encompass the Bruce Museum and westward to connect with a reimagined Roger Sherman Baldwin Park, linking the two into a continuous, public, waterfront parkland.
The development also includes condominiums, below-market-rate apartments, retail shops and restaurants, and a conference center/business retreat that line the new park’s northern border.
Additionally, the plan was further expanded to include the nearby Horseneck Lane parking lot with a new office and parking garage development.
This would provide much-needed additional parking downtown and generate additional revenue that would allow the developer to pay for the proposed new public park and waterfront esplanade, a renewal of the Greenwich Teen Center, the creation of a new outdoor amphitheater in the Roger Sherman Baldwin Park, and a reinvigorated harbor front wharf with a new events pavilion.
A monumental, cascading stairway, with gardens, places to sit, and sculptures, extends the pedestrian vitality of Greenwich Avenue southward to the waterfront parkland and cultural offerings of Greenwich Harbor Park.
Project: Greenwich Waterfront Development
Architects: Centerbrook Architects and Planners
Lead Architect: Justin Hedde and Elizabeth Hedde
Client: Fuller Development Company, Cappelli Organization
Photographs: Courtesy of the Architects