Little Island

An oasis on the Hudson River in Manhattan designed by Heatherwick Studio and MNLA

Pier 55, New York
Pier 55, New York

An island on the island of over 11,000 m2, supported by concrete mushroom “pylons,” will appear next spring, in 2021, at Pier 55, in front of the Whitney Museum.
Dedicated to all New Yorkers, Little Island is an innovative public space imagined by two important architecture firms – Heatherwick Studio and MNLA – selected by the promoter of the project, the Diller von Furstenberg Family Foundation (DVFFF) in partnership con la Hudson River Park Trust.
“What I had in mind – says Barry Diller – was to create a destination for New Yorkers and for visitors to the city, an aesthetically astonishing space that would make people happy.”

Pier 55, New York, aerial view
Pier 55, New York, aerial view

A visionary project in which nature and art are in constant dialogue. An unusual floating stage, open to the public and used for performances and events, with an outdoor amphitheater, an auditorium and a roof garden.
The inspiration? “We were inspired by the remains of the old piers on the West Side of Manhattan – says Thomas Heatherwick, founder of the studio – hundreds of old structural pylons in wood, protruding from the river. We wondered if the identity of our new park and performance space could emerge from the water, just like these structural piles, but without needing to add any slab on top. This idea evolved to take the new concrete piles that would be needed to connect to the granite at the base of the river, and to then continue them out of the water, extending skyward to raise sections of a generous green landscape with rich horticulture. Fusing at they meet, these 280 individual piles come together to form the undulating topography of the park, angled perfectly for performance and theatre spaces.”

Pier 55, New York, aerial view
Pier 55, New York, aerial view

Connected by two footbridges to the western bank of the Hudson River Park in Manhattan and immersed in nature, Little Island is an avant-garde creative hub destined to become a nerve center of the New York cultural experience, like the High Line. In an enchanting, amazing elsewhere.

Credit: Pier55, Inc./Heatherwick Studio
All images © Heatherwick Studio