MNLA, Heatherwick Studio, Arup, Standard Architects, Fisher Marantz Stone, C&G Partners, Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers, Irrigation Consulting, Inc., Hunter Roberts Construction Group (Construction Manager)
MNLA collaborated with Heatherwick Studio to design Little Island (formerly Pier 55), a dramatic 2.4-acre public park in the Hudson River that brings together art and nature in an immersive experience. Conceived as a leaf floating in the water, the pier is a topographic marvel that celebrates views, defines landscaped spaces, and provides resilience against climate change.
The lifted corners of the pier create distinct microclimates that reveal themselves through color, texture, light, and shadow. Whether meandering along paths, stairs, or boulders scrambles, the eye is at times directed downward to the rich palette of plants or outwards to spectacular views of the city and harbor. Little Island is a maritime botanic garden with 35 species of trees, 65 species of shrubs, and 290 varieties of grasses, perennials, vines, and bulbs, many of which have been selected for their fragrance and attractiveness to birds and pollinators. The landscape is one of sweeping swaths of textures and seasonally calibrated color themes punctuated by magnificent trees. Intended to delight and surprise, the captivating landscape offers visitor an oasis from urban life to play, relax, imagine, learn and restore.
The landscape design of Little Island is inspired by the textures and colors of coastal Acadia National Park in Maine.