Capital Projects and Mega Developents

Green Building Worldwide endeavors to provide up to date information on national and international Capital Projects and Mega Developments

PIER 17: Lower Manhattan, New York City

Recorded by F. Dong

The Pier 17 project is an extensive urban renovation plan that requires rezoning in the Lower Manhattan district from a C2-8 zoning district to a C4-6 zoning district. In order for the project to be instilled, the contractors and architects of the project need various special permits for this area of special development that grant permission for the modification of the height, length, and roof of the current Pier 17 building. Once these permits are obtained, contractors can upgrade the Working Pier space by increasing the waterfront public access area and creating unique, smart spaces that take advantage of unused areas, while also giving pedestrians the opportunity to gaze at the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and New York Harbor through various breathtaking vantage points. The proposed project seeks to transform the South Street Seaport into a modern utopia with improved pedestrian access to the waterfront, drawing tourists, residents, and workers alike to enjoy the industrial heritage of the waterfront with revitalized amenities.

Additionally, contractors of the Pier 17 project plan on creating a flexible, open space that can be used for a variety of activities. First off, the original faux-historic roof of the building will be stripped and replaced with a clean, minimalist design that is evocative of the seaport’s industrial history as a working waterfront. This new roof will be a publicly accessible area of 40,000 square feet created by leveling the pre-existing roof, allowing for pedestrians to relax and absorb the incredible views of New York around them. There will also be a performance space on the roof that can be used for concerts, performances, and other events that enrich the unique history and culture of New York’s Seaport district. Additionally, leveling the roof will accommodate the second and third floors of the Pier 17 building, making space for larger tenants and reserving the ground floor for pedestrian circulation.

 

Furthermore, large lawn areas will be allocated for seating area to use during performances, or simply pedestrian relaxation zones. Mobility and easy access will be created throughout the area with escalators and elevators bringing people from the pier surface to the roof, and making the space more disability-friendly. Ultimately, this renovation of Pier 17 is a retail vision of the current Seaport area that seeks to strike a balance between residents and tourists, all while serving as a public space reminiscent of the Pier’s past as a bustling fish market.

Green Building Worldwide will update this report as movement unfolds.

PENN STATION DEVELOPMENT: The 5 Firms in Consideration

Recorded by F. Dong

 

SHoP Architects

SHoP architects seek to transform Penn Station from a purely utilitarian station to a spacious ‘gotham gateway’ filled with natural light. SHoP plans to engage the waterfront and extend the station across Manhattan, infusing it into the city and connecting the station to the highline. This renovation as a gotham gate will unify Midtown Manhattan, while also remain a financially feasible project by linking the gateway with parks and amenities that bring in consumers. Furthermore, this urban renewal plan of re-envisioning Penn Station and Madison Square Garden has enormous potential to create a more liveable New York through smart and aesthetic urban planning and increasing mobility throughout the city. The updated Penn Station will be enveloped by refreshing green space and incorporate the 16 acre west side waterfront Hudson Yards site. Given the fact that Penn Station receives more than 500,000 commuters a day, this replanning is integral as it opens up a cramped and dismal place and grows the area by connecting it the the rest of the city.

Additionally, architectural firms are competing in the Design and Deliverability Competition for new ideas and design concepts for the Port Authority bus terminal renovation.

Arcadis of New York, Inc.

One of the finalists, the Arcadis of New York, Inc. firm, has a innovative and encompassing vision while still preserving all neighboring plazas and buildings and having a minimum construction impact. Their design incorporates an elevated plaza, creating a car-free entrance to the terminal and allows direct connections between the Bus Terminal and the projected #7 Subway Station at Dyer Avenue. In order to reduce queueing times, Arcadis of New York, Inc. plans on installing digital information boards that informs passengers of their departure gates upon arrival and streamlines the entire waiting process. Alternatively, another finalist Archilier Architecture Consortium proposed weaving together the Hell’s Kitchen district with the Hudson

Yard district. Their design proposal works towards transforming a “no man’s land” into a bustling, multi-faceted public facility that will become New York’s “next great place.” This design enhances the mobility of the city and functionality of the terminal by providing a direct link of internalized bus ramps that minimize bus time to the gates, while also removing unsightly external transportation ramps. Both architecture firms seek to revitalize the existing terminal with sustainable and forward-thinking plans that increase mobility and prioritize efficiency.

Hudson Terminal Center Collaborative

Due to many architectural firms’ concepts of connecting the terminal to emerging neighborhoods such as Hudson Yard and the Hell’s Kitchen district, companies such as the Hudson Terminal Center Collaborative have a lot of push in this renovation plan. This company plans on renovating the underground portions below Port Authority and nearby Port Authority parcels that are currently occupied by bus and private auto ramps. This plan renames the entire terminal as the ‘Hudson Terminal Center’ and involves constructing a brand new terminal directly under the current Port Authority Bus Terminal, along with seamless, naturally-lit connections to adjacent city streets and subways. The Hudson Terminal Center competition concept is especially feasible because it provides the potential for private equity development on the bus terminal site. The underground system improves the arrangement of commuter and intercity bus gates through a linear plan that accommodates bus gates, storage, and passenger processing in one comprehensive facility that reduces queuing, merging, and congestion for both buses and passengers.

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Another finalist, Pelli Clark Pelli Architects seeks to rename the terminal ‘Times Square West’ and cater towards commuters traveling to and from New Jersey. Pelli Clark Pelli Architects seek to connect the terminal with not only Hudson Yards, but also the tourist,  commercial, and cultural hub Times Square. They plan to do this by relocating and downsizing the bus terminal and repairing the urban fabric severed by the terminal’s current extended bus ramps and tunnel approaches. This company offers to re-integrate mobility and human scale into the terminal after half a century without them. Times Square West represents a new era in the Port’s relationship with the local community. It involves no taking of private property, and instead brings jobs, retail and residents to the community. It removes commuter buses from the streets, dramatically transforming the quality of life in a neighborhood that has long suffered from congestion, noise and air pollution associated with the Lincoln Tunnel and bus terminal.

Perkins Eastman

Lastly, well-known architecture firm Perkins Eastman looks at improving the pedestrian experience of the terminal by adding more retail and dining options, as well as inviting waiting areas and convenient pedestrian connections. Perkins Eastman’s “convergence” design concept is to construct a desirable part of the City where people will want to live, eat, and work, regardless of whether or not they are commuting. This firm also proposes reducing the congestion in the city streets by removing buses, trucks and ramps entirely from the local street network, and ultimately allowing greater permeability of surface streets for cars and pedestrians. They look to remove the current two-block long, five story building completely and replace it with vibrant, mixed-use amenities. Perhaps the most innovative aspect of the Perkins Eastman plan is their plan to introduce resilient transit infrastructure that doubles as a new public waterfront park.

Green Building Worldwide will update this report as movement unfolds.

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