Thomas Heatherwick to build $130 million "treasure island" on New York’s Hudson River

“All these years later, my studio and I are honoured to now be growing another set of river piles in the midst of these historic ones to hold up a new phenomenal public park with special spaces for performances,” he said. “When I was little I used to come to Manhattan to visit my great aunt who lived here and never forgot being driven down the West Side Highway and seeing the fields of disused pile heads sticking out of the river,” said Heatherwick, who this year also completed a gin distillery and visitor centre. Replacing the dilapidated Pier 54, the 10,000-square-metre Pier 55 is conceived as an   undulating landscape of performance venues and planting,   built over a cluster of mushroom-shaped columns   56 metres off the Hudson River shoreline. The couple have pledged to contribute   $113 million (£72 million) to build the floating park – the largest private donation to a public park in New York history. Construction of the pier is scheduled to commence in 2016. Described as a “treasure island”, it will include   a 700-seat amphitheatre imagined as a performance space for   music, dance, theatre and public art. Its erection, operation and cultural programme will all be managed by   Pier55 Inc, a new non-profit organisation established by Diller and Von Furstenberg, and including film and theatre producer Scott Rudin. News:   first it was a garden bridge to span London’s River Thames, now British designer Thomas Heatherwick is proposing a floating island park for the Hudson River in New York (+ slideshow). “Unexpected topography and captivating spaces will create physical, visual and cultural experiences found nowhere else in the city, much less on the waterfront.”
“The drama and delight of the landscape will make this a magnificent destination that will define a new paradigm of public parks,” he added. Related story: Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge soars over first planning hurdleHeatherwick Studio is working with landscape architect Mathews Nielsen on the $130 million (£83 million) project, the majority of which will be funded from a donation by media mogul Barry Diller and his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg. Nielsen,   who also designed the Tribeca section of the Hudson River Park,   said Pier 55 will be unlike any other pier along the Hudson. “New York has always reminded me of Venice, so I am happy the time has come to properly honour its waterways,” added Von Furstenberg.

Updated: 18.11.2014 — 16:19