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Pier 55's undulating design may be getting modifications

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The pier may lose many of its standout pot-shaped piers due to construction concerns

Pier 55’s undulating park is set to undergo a slight design modification. The Architect’s Newspaper has gotten its hands on a permit modification request submitted by the Hudson River Park Trust, the organization in charge of building the Pier, that presents a much flatter version of the park than we have seen in previous renderings of the 2.7-acre park.

One of the standout features of the design were the pot-shaped piles that would hold up the park over the Hudson River and create the differential heights throughout the space. However it now seems that this design proposal posed construction problems for the HRPT. In the document obtained by The Architect’s Newspaper, the organization expressed concerns about the piles’ complicated design and the potential reluctance of construction firms to build them.

The HRPT, in a statement to Curbed, has denied that there are any significant modifications to the design, and has sent over new renderings to illustrate the point.

"The Trust has made technical alterations to make the project easier to build, but the topography, landscaping, program and size have not changed,” the statement reads. “It's unfortunate but not surprising that the plaintiffs [The City Club of New York] -- who have now lost four times in four courts including the highest in the state -- are making another desperate attempt to derail a project that has strong support among neighborhoods along the park, Community Board 2, park advocates and prominent civic groups. Construction continues and we're looking forward to opening this addition to Hudson River Park in 2019."

It now appears that these pot-shaped piles will remain on the perimeter of the park, and the interiors will be supported by more conventional piles.

The president of the City Club of New York, which has been in a legal tussle with the developers of the park for quite some time now, told The Architect’s Newspaper that the changes in design would reduce the sunlight reaching the river, and in turn impact the marine life.

The park is largely being funded by fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, and is expected to cost over $200 million. The project is being designed by Heatherwick Studio (the same folks behind Hudson Yards’ The Vessel), along with landscape firm Mathews Nielsen.