Westfield’s Grand Junction project entering design development stage


By Mark Ambrogi


David Rubin envisions Grand Junction Park as a place where people will want to connect and gather year-round.

Rubin, a principal and designer for Land Collective, a Philadelphia-based landscape architecture and urban design group, gave an update on Westfield’s Grand Junction Park, a 10.5-acre park, at the Westfield Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon at The Bridgewater Club on Feb. 26.

There will be four pavilions, a new riparian quarter (the ecological condition along the stream quarter) and a plaza for the project, which is south of Jersey Street and between Mill and South Union streets. It is designed to be the focal point of Westfield’s downtown. The plan calls for retail, restaurants, office space and residences. Grand Junction will be connecting point for Anna Kendall and Midland Trace Trails.

Rubin said the design is for the plaza to be in use 365 days of the year.

“In the wintertime, it’s an ice rink and festival place,” Rubin said. “In the summer, it’s for market and other folks to gather. There is a stage and is the prospect of a restaurant and Trailhead Pavilion.”

Rubin said the plan for the restaurant is a beer pub type of environment with tables inside and outside. There are also plans for an amphitheater and Great Lawn gathering place.

Rubin said the park is now entering the design development stage, which will take about four months. It then goes into construction documents once approved by the city.

“It all centers around gathering this newly refurbished riparian quarter,” Rubin said. “We designed it with the idea of where vehicles can go and can’t go, where pedestrians go and where cyclists go.”

Rubin said they have designed very specific places for people to gather, including the plaza and the meadow.

“We’ve decided the prospect of overlooks because seeing and being seen is a human condition,” he said. “It’s very important to be seen and to see what is happening. It is made of a whole bunch of elements that come together in a composition.”

Rubin said the concept is that all day there will be something taking place in Grand Junction Park.

“Every week and month, it will change,” Rubin said. “Seasonably, it will be different. There will always be a reason to come back, not only to engage with your fellow citizens but to see what has changed as a result of that seasonality.”

The Cafe Pavilion will be a place where people can rent skates and can have small civic gatherings for groups.

“I would encourage those to start coming to the meetings about the park because it’s about you, it’s about your kids, your grandkids, your grand nieces and nephews,” Rubin said. “It’s incredibly important to have a voice in this.”

There are donor opportunities and businesses might want to be represented in the park, Rubin said.

For more information, visit land-collective.com/projects/grand-junction-park/.