British designer Thomas Heatherwick talks Pier 55

Pier 55 and Thomas Heatherwick.
Pier 55 and Thomas Heatherwick.

Last week, the Hudson River Park Trust announced a plan to build a $170 million elevated pier park and performance space on the Hudson River – bankrolled by none other than Billionaire Barry Diller and designer Diane von Furstenberg. And it turns out the designer is just as exciting as the financial backers: British architect Thomas Heatherwick.

Heatherwick has designed everything from a new double-decker bus to an art museum in a grain silo to a rolling roll-up bridge, according to Fast Company.

But transforming the windswept, dilapidated West Side pier into a glittering new interactive art space proposed a particular challenge for Heatherwick.

“We were just imagining, what would we make that was propped up on all these sticks?” Heatherwick said.

Finally, he latched onto the idea of embracing the difficult environment.

“The topography of the park that we’ve designed is deliberately conceived to allow performances to take place and give sight lines,” Heatherwick said. “That was a dual benefit of making the garden more three-dimensional. It makes an interesting dynamic between people, it also allows the piles to be seen and express themselves, and it also allows better sight lines for performances.” [Fast Company]Christopher Cameron

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