Back in April, the city introduced a plan B for Barry Diller’s Pier 55 floating park, but it was far less exciting than the original futuristic design. Thankfully, the latest set of renderings, revealed by Curbed, show that the whimsical nature of the park hasn’t gone anywhere.
Mathews Nielsen, the landscape architect for the project who is working with designer Thomas Heatherwick, unveiled the latest set of images at a meeting this week. They take into account concerns from the local community board, including its height (the platform will now be 62 feet at its highest point as opposed to 70), circulation (the winding pathways are being designed with congestion in mind), and the issue of people jumping off (the periphery will be lined with shrubbery and a fence).
Back in February, Pier 55 moved forward with a 20-year lease deal between the Hudson River Park Trust and a nonprofit group controlled by Barry Diller, the billionaire media mogul (and husband to Diane von Furstenberg) who pledged $130 million in November 2014 to fund the $151.8 million park. Construction on the park won’t begin until spring of 2016, but work has already commenced on removing the crumbling Pier 54, which Pier 55 will replace, and federal funds have been allocated for a crosswalk at West 13th Street to lead to the park. However, approvals related to the environmental impact of the project are still needed from the Army Corps of Engineers and State Department.
Nielsen noted that the undulating base will be higher in the corners to create “micro-climates.” He said trees will range in height from 30 to 40 feet with their roots spreading horizontally for storm protection. There will be large, sloping lawns for wintertime sledding and summertime lounging. Curbed also points out Nielsen’s mention of a possible Gabion wall “for slope retention and seating.” Though it hasn’t been articulated, the renderings show a lot of flowers and grasses that don’t look dissimilar from the native plantings on the High Line.
All renderings via Heatherwick Studio/Mathews Nielsen
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Neighborhoods : Meatpacking District