Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Plug pulled on Heatherwick Studio’s New York pier

  • 1 Comment

Another of Thomas Heatherwick’s river-based leisure projects has been scrapped, less than two months after London’s Garden Bridge was abandoned

Backers of plans for an island park on New York’s Hudson River have pulled the plug on the project in the face of vociferous criticism from opponents.

Millionaire Barry Diller and his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, had bankrolled the plan for Pier 55, which would have included an amphitheatre and performance spaces.

However, Diller last week told the New York Times: ‘Because of the huge escalating costs and the fact it would have been a continuing controversy over the next three years I decided it was no longer viable for us to proceed.’

The newspaper reported that the project’s costs had mushroomed from $35 million to $250 million due to design complexities and legal challenges.

Last year, urban environmental campaign group, the City Club of New York, launched a case against Heatherwick’s client, the Hudson River Park Trust.

The group said that the trust had failed to carry out an environmental impact assessment of the proposals.

It also said that the trust should have carried out a competitive bidding process before accepting a $100 million-plus donation towards the scheme from Diller and von Furstenberg.

A third ground for challenge was that events held on the island would exclude members of the public and restrict entry by ability to pay.

Madelyn Wils, president of the Hudson River Park Trust, told the New York Times that she was ‘deeply saddened’ by Diller’s decision, ’not simply because this would’ve been one of the world’s greatest piers, but because this was a project the community so resoundingly wanted, and that millions would one day enjoy.’ 

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Industry Professional

    "The newspaper reported that the project’s costs had mushroomed from $35 million to $250 million due to design complexities and legal challenges."

    While I guess legal expenses aren't cheap, I would wager that the majority of this 700% increase was due to a design which was under-engineered, a designer who didn't consider the context or site ahead of wooing everybody with a flashy design and a lack of real understanding of the complexities of such projects.

    Like, one could suggest, the Garden Bridge which went from £60m to "£200m plus", or the Blue Carpet which was over twice the budget (and instantly failed) or the B of the Bang which was way, way over budget (and instantly failed)....

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs

AJ Jobs