Pier 57 / LOT-EK + Young Woo & Associates


The Hudson River Park Trust has recently announced the winning design for City’s Pier 57, a long floating pier built on concrete caissons in 1952.  The pier, located in Chelsea at West 15th Street and West Street on the western edge of the Meat Packing District, is part of the Hudson River Park development.  New York firm Lot-EK with developer  Young Woo & Associates are set to design a rooftop park crowning a small shopping center of local artisan stores built with recycled shipping containers.  The center will also include a contemporary culture center with spaces for exhibitions, galleries, auctions and entertainment.

More about Pier 57 after the break.


The pier’s basic structure will be preserved, with layers of containers holding a mix of studio, retail and community spaces.  Many of the small spaces will be rented to local artisans as a way to bring in revenue and give the pier street-credibility and community ties.  The proposal’s emphasis on creating a niche for local artists and fusing an innovative mix of uses offers an attractive solution for the site.


“The community working group liked the fact that the proposal generated fewer vehicular trips,” explained President of the Board Connie Fishman.  Others found the proposal attractive due to its estimated $191 million cost, as oppose to the other proposals that were estimated at over $330 million.


Yet, before being selected, had to prove to the jury that the shipping-container design would satisfy building codes and also create a high-quality experience. Although the jury was apprehensive about the containers, upon seeing ’s earlier container projects for Puma City (as we reported earlier on AD), the jury was convinced the project was feasible.


The pier design still has a long way to go before its visions will be a reality.  The plan still has to clear the ULURP and environmental review hurdles before beginning construction.

As seen on Bustler and the Architect’s Newspaper.








Cite: Cilento, Karen. "Pier 57 / LOT-EK + Young Woo & Associates" 07 Aug 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=31479>
  • Dustin

    I would be disappointed if I spent more than a cheeseburger for those renders…

  • downbythedocks

    I just threw up a little in my mouth.

  • Imal

    new programs, old form

  • INawe

    yeah yeah… but what about the architecture. these comments bore me.

    i will say that the roof of this project is the most interesting with the programs interjected and the sloping roofs forming the stadium seating. as for the containers… not so much…


    the fact that most people on here want to talk more about the renders than the architecture sums up why we have so many clueless architects these days.

  • Odo

    American Psycho makes a very good point!

  • Paul

    I think people do prioritize renderings more than they should; in this case, however, they’re so clunky that it’s difficult to tell if this building would feel fresh and original or like a shopping mall. There’s no sense of depth, transparency or opacity, only the dimmest sense of materiality. (And the colors are nasty to boot.)

    • jp

      it’s basically sketchup exports with light photoshoping.

      i think one of the biggest problems is the people.. in some images there are too many, or they’re ill-proportioned, or they’re not in line with the perspective angle.

      about the color.. the yellow shipping containers destroy any freshness this building could have. They have an innate industrial appearance that clashes with the idea of a shopping center.

  • Juni

    bad architecture
    bad renders

  • http://www.architectonica.ca Dariusz

    Some of the images are quite telling.. I have to agree with Patrick Bateman as well.. Are the renders supposed to be telling of the architecture, or should architecture trump everything.. We are creating SPACES, not images. I think the realistic render revolution will take a big step back in favour of real projects.
    If the shipping containers were all sorts of different colours, it would make the project quite nice. Love the roof and various levels.. Good job NOT spending thousands on real-life renderings.. Keep it real!

  • ScottinNYC

    Keep in mind this is a competition entry. The renderings are paid for by the architect, not by, well, the prize money, if there is any.

    The design AND the rendering fit the site and this kind of an urban design project–a derelict pier building on a beautiful waterfront park that has been in developed over the last 20 years. Also in keeping with other recent public development, namely the High Line. Appropriate to have the people be photos, and the trees, the city around it as that is what is important in such a project. Better to have the rendering of the building elements recede. And the color is appropriate for an old pier structure.

    My experience as an architect for over 20 years, and a principal for the last 16, is that “realistic” expensive renderings (airbrush or CADD) don’t sell the project to the client anyway. The more you try to be realistic, the more it looks fake. A certain looseness, especially early on, allows for the client to focus not on your computer skills, but on the ideas behind the design. And it doesn’t look carved in stone, important especially here in NYC where public participation (for good or worse) is part of the very long process of building such a project.

    • NeilS

      I must concur, I am a student of Architecture in final year. Renders do pose massive problems when it comes to initial reviews. It is so easy to render a scheme now early on and it does look finalised, fait accompli. This attracts strong comments and is rarely seen as the diagram that it is. It can also be viewed by some clients in real world that all the hard work is done and its not worth paying the money to the architects for any more work!

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