Pier 55: the dull name doesn’t quite encapsulate Thomas Heatherwick and Mathews Nielsen’s fantastical vision to transform a derelict pier on the Hudson River into a hovering island wonderland, replete with giant mushrooms and fields of moss where, according to the developers, ‘visitors can wander and wonder, finding something new around every corner’
The $170m project is the latest in a series of Heatherwick commissions for public spaces, and when finished it will provide a concert space, amphitheatre and theatre. The plans were announced in November by the Hudson River Park Trust and are supported by Barry Diller, a 72-year-old billionaire and former head of Paramount Pictures and Fox.
Already, however, questions have been raised about the ethics behind the privately-managed public space and the potential for the area to sustain more new cultural venues.
For more on the project, The Guardian has a long article covering other notable Heatherwick commissions, as well as information on the history around the Hudson River Park regeneration.
In February 2014, the Hammer institute in Los Angeles is hosting an exhibition titled, Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio, showcasing the architect’s most famous and controversial designs.