'park erratica' is a small but mighty green space in the middle of NYC

'park erratica' is a small but mighty green space in the middle of NYC


over on west 20th street in new york, just below the highline, maziar behrooz architecture has installed some street furniture with a difference. entitled ‘park erratica’, the urban intervention foregoes the more mundane wooden bench and is instead comprised of an assortment of large stone boulders, placed on the street to create a small but mighty natural park (or ‘parklet’) in the middle of the city.

the boulders serve as a functional seat and provide protection from passing cars



the boulders were chosen by maziar behrooz architects both as a nod to ‘7000 oaks’ — the joseph beuys installation just a few blocks north — and as a robust and durable boundary between the pedestrian sidewalk and the busy traffic of the street. the boulders were selected for their particular shapes — different forms capable of accommodating the various functional needs of the pedestrian: sitting, leaning, climbing, even practicing yoga (the boulders sit directly outside a yoga studio). the boundaries of the park are outlined using a white resin matt, on top of which the boulders are strategically placed. this outlines the installation as a liminal space of rest, somewhere in between the crowded pavement and bustling street. made from 18 tonnes of alcove bluestone, the parklet follows its roots back to the bed-rock of manhattan and hopes to transport visitors to an older, pre-historic version of the city’s streets.

plants are added to create shade and provide a visual screen



each boulder is cut to delineate the boundary of the rectangular space; highlighting the contrast between the natural formation of the rocks and man-made interventions. in a regular pattern, holes are drilled into the sawn edges. these holes are used to install horizontal planters that house a selection of grasses and plants, fleshing out the mini-sanctuary and making it that bit easier to remove yourself from the stress of the city, however briefly.

a curving boulder is placed in front of yoga studio

a white resin matt is used to delineate the borders of the park

the park aims to be a place of interaction, reflection and play


project info:


boulders: NY quarries
resin mat: fusion floors
team members: maziar behrooz, ali soltani, jee won kim, renee rust, haotian xu, brandon ma
plant selection: jill musnicki,
landscape installation: green living roofs 
client: debra marcoux, underline coffee


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: peter corboy | designboom

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    489,299 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample