Patrick Barta

In an atmosphere of unpredictable climate changes, design needs new thinking. This project rethinks how to use space, extending it beyond land.

as part of DFA’s proposal for the future of the city of new york, the studio founded by british-born architect laith sayigh has re-envisioned pier 40 as a resilient mixed-use complex of housing, recreation, and commerce which maintains the existing popular soccer field. having done the analysis of the site’s current condition, DFA designed a solution to the floating structure’s future development.

pier 40 is the largest pier structure on the hudson river with a 15-acre footprint and generating approximately 30% of the hudson river park trust’s annual operating budget. despite its vital importance as a parking garage, athletic complex and offices, the pier is deteriorating and need of critical infrastructure repairs which will cost in the hundreds of millions of dollars. a valuable and viable real estate asset, pier 40 should be reimagined as a response to its structural and natural strengths and weaknesses. DFA’s site-specific solution introduces mixed-housing, mixed-recreation, and mixed-commerce designed to flood with the rising current and 21st-century reality of the over-water structure.

following an analysis of the zoning and state of existing piles, DFA identified areas of pier 40 that are fit for supporting clusters of program influenced by the pier’s predominant recreational use and addressing a city-wide need for affordable housing. combining the analysis with design, DFA utilized an algorithm to determine the optimal location for each tower type, determining that each tower must have at least three structurally sound connection points to support the weight/load. the pier’s existing structure is optimized for performance as the foundation for a new community.

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