Little Island at Pier 55

Little Island Pier 55

Hot Wire Direct is thrilled to have been a part of bringing the extraordinary project to life.

At Hot Wire Direct, we are thrilled to have been a part of bringing the extraordinary project, "Little Island at Pier 55", to life. This visionary undertaking, spearheaded by Barry Diller and the Hudson River Park Trust, aimed to reimagine and rebuild Pier 54, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The result is a one-of-a-kind public space in New York City that seamlessly blends nature, art, and community.

This ambitious project began in 2013 when Barry Diller, in collaboration with industry leaders Scott Rudin, Stephen Daldry, George C. Wolfe, and Kate Horton, envisioned a unique public park that would immerse visitors in a transformative experience with nature and art. Working closely with Heatherwick Studio and MNLA, renowned design firms with expertise in architectural innovation and captivating landscapes, the vision for Little Island at Pier 55 started to take shape.

Heatherwick Studio, led by Thomas Heatherwick, explored the idea of incorporating the remaining wooden piles from Pier 54 into the design of the new pier. The thought of using these ancient structural piles as the foundation for the park and performance space sparked the concept of raising sections of a generous green landscape with rich horticulture. By fusing the new concrete piles required to connect with the base of the river, an undulating topography was created, perfectly angled to accommodate performance and theater spaces—a thrilling landscape over the water for everyone to enjoy.

MNLA, led by Signe Nielsen, designed the landscape as a leaf floating on water, a sensory delight for all seasons and times of day. The lifted corners of the pier create distinct microclimates, revealing themselves through color, texture, light, and shadow. The meticulously curated botanic garden, featuring a variety of trees, shrubs, and grasses, enhances the overall experience, attracting birds and pollinators while captivating visitors with its beauty.

The construction of Little Island at Pier 55 was an incredible feat achieved by a collaboration of local fabricators and contractors. Engaging the expertise of engineering firm Arup, landscape installation company BrightView, signage and wayfinding experts CG Partners, and many other New York-based companies, the project was transformed from concept to reality. Weeks Marine, the marine contractor, undertook the precise driving of over 260 pre-cast concrete piles into the bedrock under the careful guidance of Mueser Rutledge, the geotechnical engineering firm.

Fort Miller Company, together with sister companies FAB3 and Scott System, tackled the challenge of fabricating the unique pot structures for the park. With steel plates from FAB3 connecting the pots together and foam forms from Scott System creating the molds, each pot component was assembled at Port of Coeymans in Ravena, NY, before being transported down the Hudson River to Little Island for final installation.

The installation of each pot, weighing up to 75 tons, was a meticulous process conducted by Weeks Marine using a floating crane. With a total of 132 pots, each one different from the other, the surface structure of the park was completed, culminating in the magnificent Little Island at Pier 55.

Little Island is more than just a park; it is a testament to the power of collaboration, innovation, and the importance of public spaces in a bustling city. We are proud to have contributed to this remarkable project, and we invite you to come and experience this captivating oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of New York City.