Clarke Caton Hintz Designs Rowing Center for Riverside County Park

January 11, 2023

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Clarke Caton Hintz Designs Rowing Center for Riverside County Park

John D.S. Hatch, FAIA, LEED AP, Principal at Clarke Caton Hintz, recently spoke at the ribbon cutting for the new Bergen County Rowing Center in Riverside County Park on the Passaic River. This unique facility in Lyndhurst, NJ was developed to meet the growing demand for public access to Bergen County waterfronts and rowing activities. While the facility is a hub for varied high school and collegiate rowing activities, it also offers opportunities for the public to get involved with the sport.

The team extends beyond Mr. Hatch to include project manager Michael Nelson, AIA, LEED AP and project architect James Giresi, AIA. The consultant team includes associate architect Peterson Architects, civil engineer: Langan, structural engineer: Harrison-Hamnett, MEPFP engineer H2M.


Click on images for credits. Renderings by Clarke Caton Hintz. Photos by Jeffrey Totaro or Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA

A major challenge of the project was applying both the knowledge of how boathouses function and the understanding of the specific usage patterns of a rowing club balanced with the critically significant function of the rowing center as a public focal point and gateway to the river for park patrons.

The building needed to be rugged. Its very purpose puts it in harm’s way with storm surges and floods. It is designed to resist those forces selectively where needed, and to simply allow floodwater to pass through elsewhere, withstand the storm and then return to normal function when the floodwater subsides.

Upper-level decks provide views over the park and river. The project evolved to embrace its many constraints, arriving upon a clearly articulated building form that responds to the park as well as the river while providing very high-quality spaces to achieve the building’s goals.

The two-story, 14,000-square-foot, $7 million facility was funded in part with $1.15 million from the state Green Acres programs, $1.1 million from the state Office of Natural Resource Restoration, with the remainder from the county’s Open Space Trust Fund.

Riverside County Park stretches along the banks of the Passaic River through 85 acres of North Arlington and Lyndhurst. Facilities include tennis courts, baseball fields, softball field fields, bocce courts, picnicking pavilions, bike paths, running and walking paths, concession stands, a track and field area, a multi-purpose sports field, a playground, parking, and scenic lookouts. The non-profit Passaic River Rowing Association (PRRA) is Bergen County’s partner to operate the rowing facility and offers community rowing programs to the general public.

Having an audience of 100 people at the ribbon cutting, hearing Hatch’s remarks, and witnessing how an exciting piece of architecture can transform an existing park, with existing docks and existing resources into a vibrant NEW destination for the community that will attract novice and experienced athletes and spectators for generations to come is a huge win for architects and really shows the value of great design. Congratulations to Clarke Caton Hintz and the Bergen County Parks Department!




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