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Heatherwick picked for New York’s ‘Pier 55’ floating park


Thomas Heatherwick has won a competition to create a new waterfront public park and performance space – known as Pier 55 – in New York

The architect behind London’s contentious Garden Bridge proposal defeated three unnamed rival teams to land the £80 million project.

Backed by the philanthropic Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, the 1.1 hectare scheme will create a new ‘place of discovery, where visitors can wander and wonder’ on Manhattan’s lower west side.

The structure will replace New York’s existing Pier 54 and will be maintained by the Hudson River Park Trust. Construction is planned to start on site by 2016.

New York governor Andrew M Cuomo said: ‘Building this new pier will greatly improve the Hudson River Parkland, and I thank the Diller – von Furstenberg family for their generosity and vision in the pursuit of a better New York.’

The city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio added: ‘The revitalization and transformation of this pier into a vibrant arts and community space will bring new energy and new visitors to our waterfront.’

Heatherwick Studio has teamed up with landscape architect Mathews Nielsen to develop the venue which is expected to focus on music, dance, theatre, public art and community events.

Thomas Heatherwick said: ‘When I was little I used to come to Manhattan to visit my great aunt who lived here and never forgot being driven down the West Side Highway and seeing the fields of disused pile heads sticking out of the river.’

He added: ‘All these years later, my studio and I are honoured to now be growing another set of river piles in the midst of these historic ones to hold up a new phenomenal public park with special spaces for performances.’

The new park will replace the dilapidated Pier 54 which was originally owned by Cunard White Star Line and was the arrival point for survivors of the Titanic.

Since 1998 the structure has been used for outdoor events, concerts and film screenings.

The new Pier 55 is planned to complete in 2018.





Readers' comments (2)

  • Interesting if people are to concentrate on recreation Design it is good to see it enacted in a site that needs some revival of life with use of local structural advantages.

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  • let's hope it's not as vapid, fripperous, ill-considered, over-designed, under-funded, and publicity-driven as the Garden Bridge.

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