Planning Phase

In support of Mayor De Blasio’s initiative to provide additional playground and park space to the under-served New York City communities, this proposal for the East River’s 107th Street Pier offers a new public space amenity for East Harlem and the northern part of the Esplanade.  Currently targeted for required upgrades including the removal of an existing steel roof structure, the renovation & re-purposing of this underutilized pier will add a significant recreation opportunity for the community to engage the Harlem River.

The design approach attempts to consider the project’s multiple stakeholders including the East Harlem community, the City Parks Department and the East River Esplanade. By pairing new community amenities with low-tech sustainable landscape practices, the goal is the reactivation of this unused pier.

A topography of new grassy berms on the pier provides the “soft” landscape and new vantage points above the water. These contoured earthworks will also soften glare and absorb vehicular noise from the adjacent FDR Drive.  The area is envisioned as a small park space, where picnics, sunbathing and fishing coexist in a natural landscape.

A new roofed pavilion will provide the structure and space to accommodate new pier amenities.  In addition to new restrooms and concessions, it will provide shaded accessible open space for small gatherings, events or outdoor cinema. The pavilion’s inverted roof provides the instrument for demonstrating sustainable storm water collection and recycling. Rainwater is directed to an opening in the roof and will drain into a cistern.  This water can be repurposed with low-tech pumps and hoses to fish & bait-cleaning stations and to nourish the pier landscapes.

PROJECT TEAM: Sari Chang, Mike Jacobs, Jocelyn Oppenheim, Eloise Durand