East River Waterfront Pier 35, New York, NY
Completion Date: 2019 Owner: City of New York, Economic Development Corporation Design Team: SHoP, Architects Ken Smith Workshop, Landscape Architect David Sundberg / ESTO, Photography The new eco-park at Pier 35 anchors the northern boundary of the two-mile long East River Waterfront Esplanade and Piers project, providing much-needed outdoor space for the local community along the waterfront and acting as an innovative habitat restoration park. The folded terrain creates a series of dunes and lawns and the folded topiary vine structure masks the adjacent sanitation building. At the west end a pedestrian bridge crosses over a folded tidal “Mussel Beach” eco project, and at the east end a raised platform with “urban porch swings” affords commanding view of the lower Manhattan and Brooklyn waterfronts. The 60,000 square foot pier features an accordion-like design, creating the sense of a “folded” terrain. A series of landscaped lawns and dunes create a walkway, while an inclined, plant-covered folded screen wall acts as a “green” billboard to the city. Rising to a height of 35 feet and stretching over 300 feet in length, the screen wall also effectively camouflages the adjacent Sanitation Department shed at Pier 36 along FDR Drive in Lower Manhattan. The use of live materials, such as the metal screen and weathered steel wall panels is reminiscent of the East River’s history as a working waterfront. A raised porch with custom swings provides a place to relax and take in the views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, and Brooklyn Bridge Park. The resulting design provides an often-overlooked section of the East River esplanade with a lush, landscaped outdoor space for passive relaxation and enjoyment. This public park builds on a rich past to turn the face of the city once more to the water and provides yet another step in the renewal of New York.