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Move Over, High Line: Hudson River’s Pier 57 Looks Amazing

Officials announce a winning proposal to create a cultural center on Pier 57, adjacent to the city’s newest jewel.

pier 57

Today, the Hudson River Park announced the winning proposal to develop Pier 57, at West 15th Street. The plan would turn the basically unused pier into a mixed-use development, filled with shops and galleries, a stones throw away from the already iconic High Line.

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The prize went to developer YoungWoo & Associates, working with LOT-EK, a New York architecture firm. As the Architect’s Newspaper reports, the plan would transform the pier with nested shipping containers, which will house a wealth of shops. Up on the roof, there will be a park whose central element will be a pair of ramps–creating lookout seating, and a natural venue for outdoor movie screenings.

YoungWoo has already pulled off a similar venue in London, the Camden Lock. And LOT-EK actually has a way with shipping containers–they’ve spent years using them to design houses, shopping centers, and museums. Most famous is their Puma City project–a shoe store that’s been traveling the world, and recently washed ashore in Boston. And it was that expertise that was crucial in winning the competition: Because so much of their plan relied on the pre-fab units, the estimated cost came in a just a fraction of competing plans—$191 million, compared to the $330-353 million for the proposals mooted by the developers Durst Organization and Related Companies.

Not that the proposal pinches pennies–in fact, it’s overflowing with mixed-use possibilities, owing to a partly open-air design easily accessible from the surrounding foot paths, and a warren of small spaces, which the developers have already said might go to local artisans for use as studio/retail spaces. Already, the Tribeca Film Festival has plans to rent the rooftop for movie screenings; in the basement will be museums and fancy gallery spaces.

That said, it’s going to take some time: The drawn-out process of securing the planning and environmental approvals means that groundbreaking is at least two years away. We’ll be counting the days.

Architect’s Newspaper has lots more information; Bustler has lots more pictures. But here’s a few to get you started:

In this cross section, you can see the lower-level galleries and the lookout seating atop the roof:

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pier 57

The view along the pedestrian walkways that will circle the site:

pier 57

The rooftop park, with the lookout seating visible in the middle ground:

pier 57

What the Tribeca Film Festival’s screenings might look like:

pier 57

Inside, the layering of shipping containers will create a space filled with interesting nooks to discover:

pier 57

The view from across the pathway that fronts Hudson River Park:

pier 57

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About the author

Cliff was director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.

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