Yesterday, plans to install a temporary winter village on top of the recently built Pier 17 in FiDi went before the LPC, and were approved. The addition will bring an ice rink, warming hut, deck, and market space during the cold season. Howard Hughes is responsible for the $785 million development of the new shopping center and public space.
David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group is responsible for the design, which takes influence from a set of five different categories of materiality that the firm wanted to celebrate in connection with the pier’s history. Those are bronze detailing, teak decking, commerce barrels, cargo units, and ice. The image below shows how these ideas are translated into reality.
In total, the pop-up would activate 53% of the rooftop, or nearly 30,000 square feet during the cold season, of which nearly 20,000 square feet would be enclosed.
Influence for the idea and design come mostly from the successful urban ice skating rinks in Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park. The maritime ice skating rink would yield about 5,4550 square feet of space relative to Rockefeller Center’s 8,500 square feet.
Last December, the New York Times published an article about the history of ice-skating in New York in conjunction with an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York. This was certainly on Rockwell’s mind, as one of the images from the proposal was pulled straight from the editorial.
One trivia piece the exhibition revealed was that the lake in Central Park was not the first place where ice-skating took place in the City. Downtown Manhattan has that honor, specifically on a canal that occupied the land now paved over by Broad Street. Ice-skating is an important part of the city’s culture, and this new proposal may bring this activity closer to its traditional roots.
The construction of Pier 17 has been part of a drive to reinvigorate the historic Seaport neighborhood by shaking off tourist trappings of the past and aiming for more amenable public spaces. SHoP Architects is responsible for designing the pier and structure.
Planned tenants of the newly opened Pier will include studio space for ESPN and two restaurants by different celebrity chefs, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Andrew Carmellini. The rooftop has kicked off this summer with several sold-out events ranging from comedy to concerts.