All photos: Michael Grimm Photography
The offshore public park in the Hudson River that almost didn’t get built officially opens on Friday. Designed by Heatherwick Studio and MNLA, Little Island at Pier 55 is designed to resemble a leaf floating on water, with an undulating base of tulip-shaped concrete pots ranging in elevation from 15 feet to 62 feet. The two-acre park features a 687-seat amphitheater, a plaza with concessions, a small stage, and incredible views, all surrounded by an abundance of greenery.
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Rendering by Arup, courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Brooklynites are hoping the third time’s a charm for the trouble-plagued Squibb Bridge, a 450-foot-long wooden walkway connecting Squibb Park to Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The bridge has had what Brooklyn Bridge Park president Eric Landau called a “challenged history.” But the park has been working with engineers at Arup to find ways to make the new bridge safe (h/t Curbed). Possible solutions included retrofitting the existing bridge, which would cost $4 million and take about a year, and building a new bridge from scratch atop the current concrete in-ground support structures, with a cost of about $6.5 million and an 18-month schedule. The latter plan was chosen, and the new bridge will be made from pre-fabricated steel, which means it should be safe for years to come rather than needing significant maintenance soon.
More on Squibb Bridge 3.0, this way
Artist’s impression of one of the Second Avenue subway’s 16 new stations
While the New York City subway system has improved by leaps and bounds since the days of squealing graffiti-covered, crime-riddled trains, stations are still an unpleasant reality. Between the grime, stench, heat and noise of oncoming trains (which in turn makes it impossible to hear indecipherable, possibly important announcements), by the time the actual train shows up we’ve had our share of city cacophony.
The good news is that an engineering firm is working with the MTA to create the amazing possibility of quieter subway stations, Wired reports. The challenge of quieting the din lies in the fact that a subway station has to be “incredibly strong, graffiti-proof, soot-resistant, human bodily waste-resistant,” according to Alex Case, an architectural acoustician with the University of Massachusetts Lowell. This indestructible infrastructure by nature creates an echo chamber that amplifies the racket. Engineering firm Arup has been hired by the MTA to improve the acoustics of the new Second Avenue line, the first phase of which–a stretch of track that lies 10 stories below the Upper East Side–is scheduled to open this December, with 8.5 miles and 16 new stations on the way when the line is complete.
Find out how they’re doing it