Location: Queens, NY
PALS Oval is a small community park in Queens, NY. The project was designed for the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. I was the lead designer on the $2.5 million project for Thomas Balsley Associates. The impetus for the project was the installation of a synthetic turf athletic field to reduce maintenance costs and decrease storm water runoff. This type of system necessitates a massive amount of excavation, not only for the turf itself but also for the large detention rings to hold the runoff. The design uses this excavation on site to create a set of large triangular mounds at each entrance and framing the ball fields. The mounds are sloped at 3:1 on two sides, making conventional mowing difficult and allowing longer grasses to grow, while the third side is gently sloped and easy to walk up. The top of the mounds are flattened and small-scale trees planted, creating a space to set up a lawn chair and watch the game. These mounds dramatize the relations between viewers and players, parents and kids.