Urban Forest

Urban Forest was a Public Art Competition that Praxes won in collaboration with Habitat Workshop.

Once a rat-infested lot filled with demolished building rubbles, the site was transformed into an active public gathering space through the efforts of non-profit public advocacy groups, community members, support of major cultural institutions, and the City’s Parks Department. The transformation of the site is an example of an impactful public architecture and space realized through initiation, participation, and collaboration of the public that also serves the public.

Featured Image © First Street Green / Other Images ©Praxes

Urban Forest embraces the spirit of public interests and participation. Conceived as a temporary outdoor installation for various programming during the summer 2013, the project is an amalgamation of efforts led by various participants that include project partners, volunteers, collaborating artists, and the community.

Located at the intersection of one of the busiest streets of Manhattan, the site of the Urban Forest is not a typical park. A stretch of path filled with lush greenery along East Houston Street lures in neighbors, travelers, and passersby for a moment of respite in the city. Only when one enters this green oasis, the park reveals a small paved lot – approximately 100’ by 30’ – wedged between two old tenement buildings.

Project Information

  • Location: First Park, 33 East First Street, New York, NY
  • Site Area: ~3,000 ft2
  • Project Type: Temporary Outdoor Installation
  • Period: Summer 2013
  • Project Budget: USD 2,500
  • Project Architects: Ji Young Kim (Praxes) + Jieun Yang (Habitat Workshop)
  • Project Partners: SUPERFRONT / First Street Green (FSG) for Programming / New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
  • Award: 1st Prize, Design Charrette by Superfront