Rising on the former site of Cunard’s Pier 54, Thomas Heatherwick’s park over the Hudson River is now blooming quickly. Pier 55 continues to be assembled piece by piece on the Chelsea waterfront. Large, preformed concrete blocks are being placed into position with the help of barges and the use of a construction crane. The 2.7 acre grounds will sit atop 425 piles that hold the project over the water, giving the structure its unique shape and figure. Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) will manage Pier 55, and Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, P.C. is designing landscaping. Today, YIMBY has a look at new photos of the model for the site, which offer a much better illustration of the park’s impending appearance.
The piles will support large, funnel-shaped, concrete blocks that have been sculpted with rounded corners and undersides. These will come together to create the platform for large open lawns, stepped terraces, abundant landscaping, and green hills. The range in elevations are due to the different heights of the support structures below. The highest part of Pier 55 will be in the western corner, accessible by a sloped and winding path while the lowest point is found along the southern side.
Looking at the model photos above, two entryways will connect Pier 55 to Hudson River Park. The northern walkway will allow visitors to enter the park first and stroll around a large, flat open space. The southern footpath will be accessed by walking underneath the old steel frame of Cunard’s former Pier 54 facade. From there, guests will enter from underneath the esplanade and its architectural concrete piers, emerging among a steep valley of trees and landscaping.
Recently, construction has been slowed down due to the cold temperatures and extreme weather patterns but will fully resume in the spring. Once all the concrete caps are in place, landscaping and tree planting should soon follow.
Completion of Pier 55 is expected sometime in 2020.