Come August this year, the city will launch the ferry route connecting Astoria to Wall Street with stops in Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, and East 34th Street along the way. That’s the latest transportation option being added to the island in addition to the existing tram, the F train, and the Roosevelt Island Bridge (for vehicles and pedestrians).
But Roosevelt Island needs something more robust, says French architect Victor Ostojic. Last year, he published a conceptual proposal that imagines a cantilevered, glass-covered ferry terminal on the western side of the island, which would serve as a major transportation hub for the rapidly-developing area.
Ostojic got the idea for the conceptual proposal while interning at Studio V Architecture in New York between December 2014 and April 2015. Ostojic lived on East 62nd Street, and could see the tram to the island from his apartment. One day he decided to take the tram and go for a run on the island—that’s when he got the idea for the transportation hub, and discovered a potential site for it.
In his proposal, this site is located parallel to Manhattan’s East 63rd Street, right next to the F train stop. Aside from the ferry terminal, the cantilevered building would have ground-floor retail, a food court, offices in the middle portion, and a luxury hotel on top. In addition, Ostojic has proposed digging out the island behind this new ferry terminal and creating a marina that would better connect the island to Queens.
Ostojic’s proposal also looks to bolster the existing transportation options on the island by creating a dedicated pedestrian walkway directly to the subway stop entrance, and to the tram entrance. In addition, he also proposed creating elevator access to the pedestrian walkway on Queensboro Bridge. In the future, Ostojic said, the ferry terminal could also provide a connection to LaGuardia Airport.
Ostojic was in large part inspired by the ongoing development on the Queens waterfront, the Manhattan waterfront, and most notably Cornell Tech’s rapidly-developing Roosevelt Island Campus. While the proposal is entirely conceptual in nature, and Ostojic hasn’t approached the city with his plans, he envisions something similar isn’t too far in the offing.
“It would be very profitable to build on this waterfront, and it would take a previously industrial stretch of land and make it a public waterfront area that everyone can enjoy,” Ostojic said reflecting on his proposal, via a Skype interview.