Pier Pressure: Pier 42 Gets New Renderings and Pier 55 Still Looks Good

Pier 42 Rendering looks great for the Lower East Side

Rendering via The Broadsheet

Whereas Pier 55 and Pier 47 (Superpier) have taken center stage among NYC’s pier redevelopment projects, Pier 42, the redesign of which has been on ice for awhile, may soon transfporm into a beautiful public space for the Lower East Side. During a meeting only a couple weeks ago, The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation planned to allocate $17 million for its redevelopment, with $7 million for the first phase.

Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects released several renderings, and the plans call for a bike path and strategic marsh areas, both of which ostensibly function as part of the Big U flood protection system. As a much needed green space, the tract will include a children’s playground, grass lawns, and an educational park. Construction is optimistically slated for next spring.

Meanwhile on the other side of Manhattan, futuristic Pier 55’s latest cost estimate is $130 million, and it’s slated for a 2018 completion date. The pylon-supported island on the Hudson will include a 700-seat amphitheater, not to mention stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. Barry Diller, who with Diane von Furstenberg is privately funding the project, will maintain it for 20 years after its completion. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick, its organic form is pretty reminiscent of Bjarke Ingels’ designs — actually, according to the Times, Mr. Diller considered both Bjarke Ingels and Santiago Calatrava (whose own forward-thinking work is apparent in the World Trade Center Transportation Hub).

Thomas Heatherwick certainly has an impressive portfolio. In Manhattan, he’s concurrently working on the a sculpture for the Hudson Yards megaproject. While there’s no rendering or illustration available to the public just yet, New York YIMBY paraphrased one witness’s description as “resembling the shape of a chalice, rising higher than the 100-foot-tall Culture Shed.” For his part, Mr. Heatherwick declined to answer the New York Times directly, but promised that it would be “something that engages the city, not something you just stand back and look at.”

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