The restored Lakeside Center in Prospect Park opened earlier this year, but two forthcoming indoor-outdoor skating rinks (which will double as a roller rink and children’s water park in summer) are still under construction. The New York Time’s architectural critic Michael Kimmelman toured the site, set to open in December, and found that the contemporary design by architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien fits well into Olmstead and Vaux’s 19th-century pastoral masterpiece.
The two pavilions, totaling 30,000 square feet, are clad in rough green granite, and nestled unobtrusively into the hilly site. The underside of the canopy of the hockey rink is painted blue with silver curlicues like skate marks on the ice. The building defers to the “scenic beauty of the site,” and is green in other ways too, including a green roof and low energy consumption, according to the designers’ own website.
Here, the architecture and landscape conspire to direct views mostly inward, back onto the park in its diversity. During the 19th century, Olmstead and Vaux gave Brooklyn a verdant open space to escape the hurly-burly and enjoy the scenery. In the 20th century, Moses added roads and recreation, peace and quiet be damned. Lakeside updates recreation for a new century. But it also recovers the tranquillity and natural wonder that are the first glory of this urban masterpiece.
Click through to the jump to see a rendering of the building exterior via builder Sciame.
Lakeside, a Skating Complex in Prospect Park [NY Times]
Inside the Prospect Park Lakeside Center [Brownstoner]
Skating Rinks to Open in Two Brooklyn Parks This Winter [Brownstoner]
Renderings by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects