On page 165 of Chapter 6 - The Core (or page 30 of 36 if you are reading the NYU2031 pdf), the plan's authors describe the proposed changes to the existing courtyard including the playground between the two buildings of Washington Square Village:
The intent is to break the vast interior of Washington Square Village into smaller and more intimate spaces, promoting a park-like atmosphere (emphasis added).Here is a Google Map view of the courtyard in 2011:
|Image: Washington Square Village courtyard: Hideo Sasaki Garden (2), playground (3). Area 1 includes park strips and retail and commercial space on LaGuardia Place.|
The courtyard looks park-like in the above aerial image and when you are in the Hideo Sasaki Garden and in the playground, the courtyard feels park-like. The interior of the Sasaki Garden is designed into discrete spaces: the fountain, the trellised seating areas, the grove of raised planters (shown below), etc. We first wrote about the garden in June.
The description of the WSV courtyard as vast is misleading. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines vast as "very great in size, amount, degree, intensity, or especially in extent or range." Central Park is a vast greenspace at 843 acres. Washington Square Park is big at 9.75 acres. The Sasaki Garden is 1.5 acres.
* In order to build a temporary gym while the existing gym is demolished and rebuilt, the university has proposed a 27,000 square foot temporary playground that would be placed on top of more than half of the Sasaki Garden; the proposed final playground would be significantly smaller than either the existing playground or the proposed temporary playground.