Thomas Heatherwick’s Pier 55, aka Little Island, Continues Formation Over the Hudson River in Chelsea

Pier 55, photo by Michael Young

Thomas Heatherwick’s 2.4-acre Chelsea park at Pier 55, aka Little Island, continues to take shape above the Hudson River. More of the funnel-shaped concrete pots have been installed on the western end of the project, which reaches 62 feet high at its peak. Large black sheets are spread out across the tops of the sloped surfaces, most likely indicating that a concrete pour recently occurred. Work is being managed by the Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT), and MNLA is designing the landscaping.

Photos from early January show the recent state of Pier 55.

Pier 55. Photo by Michael Young

Pier 55. Photo by Michael Young

Pier 55. Photo by Michael Young

Pier 55. Photo by Michael Young

Pier 55. Photo by Michael Young

Pier 55. Photo by Michael Young

Pier 55. Photo by Michael Young

Pier 55. Photo by Michael Young

Pier 55. Photo by Michael Young

Viewed from across the Hudson River from Hoboken, the perimeter of the park appears substantially finished with only the inside piles and pods of the structure left to be completed. The old arched frame for the Cunard Pier 54 has been left standing untouched at the southern entrance to Little Island, but its steel is due to refurbished sometime this year. This entrance will lead to a slightly inclined walkway that traverses underneath several of the precast concrete pots, while a secondary entrance to the north will bend around the park. It looks like most of the surface has been poured with concrete, and only the northern portion with the exposed and laid steel rebar remains.

A small lone pine tree was spotted at the highest point of Pier 55. When finished, the park will be home to over 100 species of trees and shrubs.

Pier 55, photo by Michael Young

Pier 55 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 two entrances to Pier 55 currently fence off a portion of Hudson River Park with temporary pedestrian paths that wind around the construction gates. The permanent walking paths, landscaping, pavers, and waterfront seating will be finalized when construction nears completion.

Pier 55 is expected to open in spring 2021.

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9 Comments on "Thomas Heatherwick’s Pier 55, aka Little Island, Continues Formation Over the Hudson River in Chelsea"

  1. What a cool and strange thing this is.

  2. Can’t wait for it’s completion.

  3. Great photographs !!

  4. Hope they got their expansion joints engineered properly,and besides that,the correct water proofing and drainage issues accounted for,could be challenging,given all those individual integrated componants.Good luck Diane,my neighbor up here in the Cloud Walk area of New Milford Ct.

  5. You say the old arched frame will be refurbished. I hope they don’t paint over or sand blast it. If you look closely you can see the name Curnard and White Star.it would be sad to see that gone.

  6. I think it’s going to be delightful. Heatherwick has the unusual talent of making whimsical architecture work.

  7. Michael John Grzelecki | January 23, 2020 at 10:00 pm | Reply

    Amazing close ups and distant panoramas of the growing pods. Thanks Michael!

  8. I concur strongly with FC, above. Refurbish the Cunard-White Star sign, but do not blot the history. I’m a strong traditionalist when it comes to architecture, but must admit this project is fascinating and I can’t wait for it to be completed.

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