Big prize for Brooklyn Bridge Park

Big prize for Brooklyn Bridge Park
Photo by Julie Rosenberg

Forget his multi-million-dollar fee — starchitect Michael Van Valkenburgh just won a $2,500 prize for designing Brooklyn Bridge Park!

Van Valkenburgh will earn almost $20 million for the design of the $350-million super park, but the icing on the cake was winning the prestigious Brendan Gill Prize from the Municipal Art Society on Monday.

It comes with an honorarium of $2,500.

“Michael’s dynamic design for Brooklyn Bridge Park has succeeded in reconnecting thousands of city dwellers and visitors to the majesty of New York’s harbor,” said Society President Vin Cipolla. “We are so pleased to award the Gill Prize to [him].”

But Van Valkenburgh’s road to the prize wasn’t without its potholes.

Park-goers scoffed at the architect’s design of the playground on Pier 1 last year because its unusable metal domes got so hot in the summer weather that they scalded the children.

That said, much of the architect’s work has been well received nationally and locally. Several of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s attractions are gaining esteem, such as the mega-playground and sand pit at Pier 6, and the massive granite stoop, lawns and estuary in Pier 1.