Rockefeller Center Ice Rink
Location: New York, NY
Project Team: Watson Salembier + 4X8 Workshop + Anna Karlin Studio
Client: Rockefeller Center Tishman Speyer
“Rewilding the American Meadow” is Watson Salembier’s first collaboration for the public domain.
The project is designed as a rewilding of the socially distanced summer gardens for the Ice Rink and North Plaza at Rockefeller Center. This design is inspired by a wild American meadow and planted with native grasses, perennials, and trees indigenous to the north-east region. One hundred years ago on this site, two thousand native and rare exotic species were cultivated in the Elgin Botanic Garden. The summer rewilding of Rockefeller Center brings the language of botany and biodiversity back to the city. The summer installation is an educational experience on the use of native plants as pest-resistant and drought-tolerant alternatives to ornamental species. Native flowering plants attract animal and insect species such as birds, bees, and butterflies that are essential for pollination. In turn, these species assist Nature in cleaning the air we breathe and growing the agriculture we eat.