could re-imagined oil tanks form the focal point of a new brooklyn park?

since 2015, a team of activists and interdisciplinary professionals have been working to save a cluster of ten decommissioned oil tanks on the brooklyn waterfront. with the structures in imminent danger of being demolished by city authorities, detailed plans have been put forward that would preserve and utilize the tanks for years to come. as part of the proposal, the structures — relics of the area’s industrial past — would be transformed as the focal point of a modern-day park, containing vertical gardens, art and performance spaces, and could even serve as oyster hatcheries.
all images by STUDIO V architecture and ken smith workshop | video by PLANE—SITE



‘through years of research with our environmental team, consultation, and community engagement, we’ve determined that preserving the tanks not only gives the chance to create a dynamic, interactive, and educational public space, it is also the more affordable, safe, practical and sustainable option,’ says stacey anderson and karen zabarsky, the duo leading the charge to save the tanks. to flesh out their ideas, anderson and zabarsky joined forces with architecture firm STUDIO V and landscape architects ken smith workshop.



the team’s proposal maximizes the available green space, while preserving the region’s ecological and industrial heritage. if realized, the project would form part of the adjacent bushwick inlet park, and would work closely with the local community to develop appropriate activities for a range of potential users. in addition to the open space and the programming inside the ten tanks, the plans include the integration of wetlands, a sandy shoreline, and a docking area for boats.



with the tanks now in serious danger of being demolished as part of the city’s plans to clear the site, an online appeal has been set up on so far, more than 1,000 people have signed the petition, with more information available here. produced by PLANE—SITE, a five minute documentary takes a closer look behind the scenes of the initiative and can be viewed at the top of this page.



project info:


name: the tanks at bushwick inlet park
co-founders and executive directors: stacey anderson and karen zabarsky
head architect: jay valgora (STUDIO V architecture)
head landscape architect: ken smith (ken smith workshop)

philip stevens I designboom

aug 01, 2019

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