Multidisciplinary firm DFA unveil their vision for the future of New York City’s Pier 40, re-imagined as an innovative mixed-use district of commerce, recreation, and affordable housing. The self-initiated proposal by the New York-based studio would transform the existing 15-acre pier by revitalizing deteriorating infrastructure while maintaining the popular recreation area and soccer field on the site.
To frame the pier’s current recreational use, DFA imagines four tower typologies that would disperse housing across the site to reduce overall density and address the city-wide concern for affordable housing. 19 residential towers will accommodate 450 units and five residence types across 11 tower clusters that will range in height from 96 to 455 feet. An algorithm was employed to determine the optimal positioning of each tower typology turning Pier 40 into a “foundation for a new community.”
We see so many projects going up in New York that are quick, chart-driven responses to serious problems, says founding principal Laith Sayigh. These short-term resolutions will not safeguard the city from rapid changes in the environment or protect future generations of people. DFA has designed a viable, future-oriented solution for the challenges of the site.
DFA’s vision also takes into consideration the future of the site. As the sea level is expected to increase by up to 30 inches by 2050, the design accommodates potential flooding through pier level lobbies for current use while integrating a landscape deck to allow access to a 360 observation deck as water levels rise. Connected to the elevator cores, this deck will become the main point of access when the site eventually floods.
The rolling landscape deck that surrounds the towers is lifted to provide space for retail, cultural, and additional recreational programs that compliment designs for landscape pods, oyster beds, and plantings oriented to absorb wave energy during large storms.
While the project has no official backing as of yet, DFA‘s speculative proposal offers a unique vision for sustainable urban development in the city.
News via DFA.