Work is moving along on Thomas Heatherwick’s 2.4-acre Chelsea park at Pier 55, aka Little Island, as more trees and greenery are being planted at the elevated waterfront park. The project is being managed by the Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT), and MNLA is designing the landscaping, which was conceived to resemble a leaf floating on water.
Tectonic shot several photographs from the Hudson River waterfront by the two entrances to the park. The hollow steel frame that was once part of Cunard’s Pier 54 is preserved at the southern gateway, while the second access point is a short distance to the north.
The railings that go along the eastern perimeter of the island facing Manhattan have been installed and can be seen from the Chelsea waterfront. Meanwhile, trees and shrubbery of varying species, shapes, and sizes have been planted on top of the funnel-shaped pods and are now visible. Over 100 types will be planted on Little Island. Most of the greenery seen now is on the eastern side of the park. The western end of Pier 55 will feature a winding path to the highest elevation, a height of 62 feet, and feature a lookout point facing the Hudson River surrounded by tall trees. This section incorporates some steep inclines and breaks in the undulating surface to create pocketed voids looking down at the water below.
The park is a short walk from the High Line with staircases at the corners of Tenth Avenue and West 14th Street and West 16th Street. The pier will offer visitors wide vistas of the entire Manhattan skyline from the Financial District to Midtown, along with uninterrupted panoramic sunsets over the Hudson River and Jersey City.
Little Island is slated to be finished next spring.