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Swimming with the Fishies: SeaGlass Carousel by WXY architecture + urban design

David Dunlap was right: the new carousel in Lower Manhattan's Battery Park is like no other you've ever ridden...oooh's and aaah's will ensue.

By Kristen Richards
August 25, 2015

I have been following the saga of the SeaGlass Carousel at The Battery since the early post-9/11 aughts. Claire Weisz and Mark Yoes of WXY architecture + urban design (then, Weisz + Yoes Studio) told me about this lovely project they hoped would go forward. It took longer than anyone thought it would, but back then, who knew there would be a recession ahead topped by Superstorm Sandy.


The SeaGlass Carousel is finally up and running. No – it does everything but run. It swirls and whirls and climbs and dives. Rays of sun through the nautilus-spiraled clerestoried roof bounce off the twirling luminescent fish creating a sun-dappled underwater world. All to whirling, swirling music composed by Teddy Zambetti, SiriusXM’s in-house composer, especially for the SeaGlass. Production designer George Tsypin, whose George Tsypin Opera Factory created the fish, called the carousel “a secret world and an urban spectacle.” Indeed.


Dunlap W. Dunlap, in his delightful review in the New York Times on August 14, was quite taken by the laughter of children that “echoed in the pavilion, sounding a bit like dolphins on the loose.” Last Wednesday, I felt like one of those children – and perhaps, for three-and-a-half minutes, a bit like a dolphin on the loose.


I’ll leave it to the pundits to pundificate – and I hope they do! In the meantime, I leave you with just a sampling of images (and once I’ve figured it out, will post a short video). Do click on images and look at them full size. And if – or when – you’re in New York, do plan to take a spin (just be sure you’re on one of the “swimming” fishies – and do buckle up!).



Kudos to the SeaGlass team:

The Battery Conservancy and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation

Architect: WXY architecture + urban design

Production Designer: George Tsypin Opera Factory

General Contractor: Pavarini McGovern

Ride and Pavilion Fabricator: Show Canada

Graphic Design: Doyle Partners

Glass Engineering: FRONT

Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Fire Protection Engineer: Buro Happold

Civil and Ride Engineers: McLaren Engineering Group

Landscape Architect: Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners

Landscape Designer: Piet Oudolf

Audio Design: Acme Professional / Solotech

Lighting Designer: Technical Artistry New York

Theatrical Electrical Contractor: Quantum Electric

Base Building Electrical Contractor: Arco Electric

Monolithic Curved Glass: Cristacurva

Construction Administration: The LiRo Group

SeaGlass is operated by NY Carousel

Music for SeaGlass is sponsored by SiriusXM

(click on pictures to enlarge)

Kristen Richards

The magical SeaGlass Carousel at The Battery

Kristen Richards

Kristen Richards

SeaGlass and some of its tall neighbors

Kristen Richards

SeaGlass’s nautilus-inspired shell

Warrie Price, president of the The Battery Conservancy, hopes that children will learn two words after their visit to SeaGlass: bioluminescence and cephalopod (as in nautilus) – and “the wonderment of being a fish.”

Kristen Richards

Kristen Richards

Kristen Richards

Kristen Richards

Kristen Richards