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Sonja Johansson, FASLA
Johansson Design Collaborative
9 Old Concord Road
Lincoln, MA  01773
Phone: 781-259-9701





Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City, New York, NY


Sonja Johansson and her former partner Donna Walcavage, in association with Carr, Lynch, Hack & Sandell and Oehme van Sweden, participated in the development of a Master Plan for this seven-acre waterfront park, the northernmost open space of Battery Park City. Our primary emphasis was in recreation design including design of sports facilities and children's play area with our custom-detailed equipment.



The playground has been well received by the public and by the press. NY Times children's reporter, Dulcie Leimbach, reviewed it as "manna from heaven for parents in search of the perfect park," and Karrie Jacobs, writing in Metropolis, said, "In this smallish utopia, safety regs and aesthetics can coexist.” Newsweek referred to it as, "One of the most dazzling new child-tailored playgrounds...". Years after its completion it is still voted “the city’s best playground” in NY’s 50 Best Places to Take Children. Tony Hiss, writing in The New Yorker, quotes a mother saying: "It's as if someone reached inside [their] minds ... and found everything that would thrill them, and then brought all these things together in one place."


Rockefeller Playground at Battery Park City

Drawn by Ed Koren for The New Yorker


The playground is divided into areas for age groups ranging from infants and toddlers at the north end, to 7-10 year olds at the south, with a progression of difficulty between. Our custom-designed play equipment, built in 1992, has served since that time, as a model for equipment design throughout the country.