Bal Harbor Village Waterfront Park
Zyscovich Architects were hired to propose a Village Park in the 67,017 sf site between 96 street and Bal Bay Drive. The work included improvements to the existing Bal Bay Drive entrance and Alternative uses for the Existing Village Hall site on the SW corner of 96th street and Bal Bay drive.
The Village of Bal Harbour Is a community with beautiful single-family residences, apartments of great quality and desirability and a place with amazing landscape and views. The Village boasts some of the best shops in the world, a first-class beach and a fabulous bay to its west. One thing it is does not have is a park where the community can gather, the kids and even those who are not kids anymore can play, read a book, or simply relax. There is no indoor space to celebrate indoor events or have programs or sports activities. Our mission has been to listen, to interpret the requests and comments of the community and tailor a design for the properties that will comprise the new Bal Harbour Village on Bal Bay Drive.
The site today is on the west side of Bal Bay Drive and comprises a small tot lot and basketball court as well as the Village’s public works compound. Since there is another site owned by the Village on Collins Ave north of the Shops, there is the opportunity to relocate the Village Hall and Police and consolidate those services on Collins thereby opening the current Village Hall site as available for utilization as a part of this park study. Also, the Village has decided to move the public works activities outside the Village freeing up that space and the parking areas as well.
Aside from buildings the site contains major infrastructure at the south end near the bridge and just south of the current public works building, which will be left in place and screened. Considering that the current uses are administrative and quasi-industrial the Park use will be a much more appropriate use of Bayfront property and can serve as the ideal location for the new park.
By utilizing these sites together, it will be possible to create a new iconic park for the community and an opportunity to reuse the waterfront for social, educational, fitness and recreational space. The question is how should it be put together and what uses would the residents of the Village like to see there? The Village is like most place comprised of a diverse population and the process of identifying the needs and desires was through public workshops to generate ideas and discuss options. Our role was to conduct the workshops, and generate the ideas and images that could lead to a consensus for further action.