Calvert Vaux Park

Emmanuel Thingue Wins 2011 Sloan Public Service Award For Outstanding Park Design

For Immediate Release
Monday, March 14, 2011
No. 11

Infuses Contemporary and Playful Park Designs with Memories of Native Haiti

Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined the Fund for the City of New York and the Sloan Public Service Awards Selection Panel on Thursday to announce Emmanuel Thingue, Senior Designer for Brooklyn Parks, as a 2011 Sloan Service Award Recipient. An intimate awards ceremony was held at Mr. Thingue’s office at the Olmsted Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the Parks Department’s headquarters for park design and construction, landscape architecture and capital projects.

“Emmanuel Thingue has transformed the landscape of New York City with his elegant, thoughtful and environmentally sustainable designs,” said Commissioner Benepe. “His dedication to public service is a significant reason why New York City has great parks and a green future. He is a worthy recipient of the Sloan Public Service Award – the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for New York City’s public employees.”

In 1990, Mr. Thingue joined what was, at the time, a new in-house design program at the Parks Department. Twenty years later, he still loves being able to design a park from beginning to end. When asked how he would describe his signature look, he says, “I try to feel how it would be to live in the space.”

“This award would not be possible without all the help and support I’ve received from my colleagues, as well as management, over the years,” said Emmanuel Thingue. “They have selflessly shared their knowledge and friendship and I am forever appreciative.”

Mr. Thingue is unparalleled in his ability to work with communities to make the most of his technical skill and design aesthetic to create both beautiful and functional spaces. He designs two to three parks per year and uses his vast creativity even when dealing with small spaces.

In 2005, Mr. Thingue completed a design of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Phase II, bordered by the East River and Adams and Plymouth Streets, which featured a newly accessible beach area and waterfront esplanade. In 2006, Mr. Thingue transformed a derelict lot on South Oxford Street in Brooklyn into an imaginative play space with a cattail-themed spray shower. That same year at Cadman Plaza, he designed a meandering jogging path and a series of gardens, on axis with the Brooklyn War Memorial, to form a colorful entrance to this dynamic urban space. In 2009, he reconstructed Breevort Playground with a central garden, play units, game tables and a new spray shower with shimmering acrylic pods against the backdrop of colorful, decorative wall composed of recycled glass.

Currently, Mr. Thingue is the lead designer on Calvert Vaux Park Phase 1, a $15 million park renovation that is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC sustainability plan. He is working to transform 73 acres of under-developed waterfront into a vibrant destination with soccer fields, bleachers, sport lighting, paths and a major entry garden. He is also working on a $2 million project at Commodore Barry Park to create a large, central lawn and performance space.

Throughout his designs, Mr. Thingue applies 21st century sustainable design principles, using recycled and salvaged materials, integrating stormwater capture techniques and increasing permeable green space.

Emmanuel Thingue resides with his family in East Elmhurst, Queens.

Directions to Calvert Vaux Park

Was this information helpful?