Island’s park designer finalists picked

The Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation last week announced five teams of finalists in its contest to design the island’s public spaces. The finalists will work this spring to produce plans for 25 to 40 acres of parkland on the southern end of the island, a two-mile boardwalk and bikeway encircling the island and revamped outdoor spaces in the island’s northern historic district. Possible uses for the land could include barbeques (illegal in most city parks) and outdoor concerts.

After a series of public forums, a jury will select the winning team, which will work with GIPEC to create a final design for the park. Each of the five teams will be paid $40,000 for participating in the design contest.

Though each team is made up of more than one architectural or landscaping company, the leading firms on the finalist teams are: Field Operations, which is currently designing the Fresh Kills park on Staten Island and part of the High Line in Manhattan; Hargreaves Associates, which designed Crissy Field in San Francisco; Ramus Ella Architects, a New York City-based firm that designed the Seattle Central Library; West 8, which won a design award for Toronto’s Central Waterfront; and WRT L.L.C., which designed the Baltimore Inner Harbor.