berlin based architecture firm so + so studio has teamed up with green villain — a jersey city place-making organization — as well as local residents and activists, to present its vision for the redevelopment of the bergen arches. completed in 1910 and unused since 1959, the bergen arches is the common name for the erie railroad’s mile-long, four track cut through the palisades in jersey city. it linked the railroad’s main line to the hudson river waterfront and eventually manhattan for its 30,000 daily passengers.


elevated walkways and sausage factory intervention

 

 

a series of paths explore the erie cut, sixty feet below the hustle and bustle of everyday life. with focus on preservation and adaptive reuse, the team proposes architectural and landscape based interventions to create a new public park and walkway, promote local artists, and boost jersey city’s overall cultural reputation. through an elevated system of ramps and walkways that meander through the canopies, sculpture gardens, murals and more, so + so’s design hopes to expose decades of preserved graffiti and site-specific art, providing a contemporary perspective on a forgotten landscape.


the cut has preserved decades of graffiti and site specific art, which only perpetuates the uniqueness of the site

 

 

the studio’s proposal aims to combat an ‘urban sense of placelessness’ by excavating the rich history of the area through a series of project phases. the bergen arch renovation intends to help jersey compete culturally on the global stage by engaging the general public, continuing the conversation about urban land conservation, and aiding in the reactivation of jersey city’s backyard.


existing image of the site
photo by william benzon


spacial breakdown of individual parcel between bridges

 


diagram illustrating the exploration of height in the space and pedestrian movement


site plan noting existing landmarks and future interventions

bergen arches/erie cut postcards courtesy of the yost collection


bergen arches/erie cut postcards courtesy of the yost collection

 

 

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

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