Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Ben van Berkel's New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion, 
in Battery Park.
Image by The NewsGallery.
A little over  a week ago we were honored to be invited to the official unveiling of the completed Plein & Pavilion at the Peter Minuit Plaza, designed by Ben van Berkel (UNStudios).  The structure was initially announced on September 9, 2009, but was finally executed to its full potential this month of 2011.  

It was an all day affair with Mayor Bloomberg accepting the friendship dedication from Holland's Prince of Orange and Princess Máxim, during the morning ceremony--as well as an evening cocktail party with van Berkel at present, with many Dutch diplomats--topped off with a delicious tasting menu by Merchants Market.

Plein & Pavilion Outdoor Cocktail Party
at Battery Downtown, Manhattan.
Image by The NewsGallery. 
The Plein & Pavilion--(plein meaning square in Dutch), is a gift from Amsterdam to New Amsterdam--which if you didn't already know: the Dutch being the first settlers of New York at the turn of the 17th century, this city was formerly and initially called Nieuw Amsterdam--prior to becoming the Big Apple that it is now. 

Dutch architect van Berkel, co-founder of UNStudio (along with Caroline Bos) are known widely for projects such as the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, and now, the recently presented Plein & Pavilion by the Dutch government to New York--in celebration of 400 years of friendship between the City of New York and the Netherlands.  (See featured video above.)

Dedication letter from the Netherlands to New York.
Image by The NewsGallery.
The Peter Minuit Plaza (in downtown Manhattan), has been renovated in collaboration with the Battery Conservancy--to encompass the newly launched outdoor Merchants Market Café, (which is now open to the public serving an all organic tasty menu), in addition to the Alliance for Downtown New York's Visitor Information Booth, (also stationed at the pavilion).  

The national Dutch offering--which cost about $25 million--is designed to assimilate the shape of a flower opening.  "I like the idea that it's not vertical," said the appointed architect with much conviction. "We want to reach out--flower out!"   The structure also features a LED system designed to generate a variation of light shows--so the Plein & Pavilion can continue to flourish into night.  Overzealous and excited to point out the additional light centerpiece van Berkel adds, "I like the idea that a pavilion is playing with new technology.  If there's no communication [in the design], there is no architecture..."  

Hence, if you're strolling down Battery Park or Wall Street, be sure to check out the newly added large flower focal point: Plein & Pavilion (next to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal).  Have a seat, smell the blossoms and enjoy the view.  Plus, don't forget to try the delectable food and wine served by Merchants Market at the outdoor café.  

P e t e r  M i n u i t  P l a z a
1 0 B a t t e r y P l a c e , N Y, N Y 1 0 0 0 4
(In Front of Staten Island Ferry Terminal)
M e r c h a n t s M a r k e t N Y . c o m
2 1 2 . 2 4 8 . 0 7 0 7
H O U R S 6 A M – 9 P M

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