NYC: Pier 58

NYC Visit & Site: Pier 58

The research field trip allowed me to visit site and expand on my knowledge of the city and in particular, Chelsea. I was able to visit the location for my potential site, upon which I realised how much the community depended on the Chelsea Pier Sports Complex and how much it was a community and family space. Not wanting to intervene on this exact site, I looked around the around and found Pier 58, a coroding layout of wooden columns, once home to one of the historic Chelsea Piers. This site, although wedged between 2 piers, allows for expansion and an installation to encourage the dicovery of the history of this area. The views of the Hudson River, Statue of Liberty, New Jersey and NYC skyline (inc. Empire State Building) are visible at the same time, which reflects the Outward bound and Homeward bound journey theme of my project.






Looking back at the City



Looking down the Hudson at New Jersey, the Statue of Liberty, The Verrazano–Narrows Bridge and towards the Atlantic Ocean


The wooden column remnants on this site tell their own story and by examining them I can bring this into the project. As a collective object, the columns show decaying wood, after years of being swamped by the Hudson, there are more columns in the centre which allows me to believe they were more protected from wind and river corrosion than the columns on the outside, and they will always be a present state, even though they are a historical object and tell of the past, which links to the museum of the present. In the design of the museum, I would like to be able to keep this element that people can see what is happening at that moment in time.

Additionally, my visit to NYC earlier in the year (and much colder!!) allowed me to see the Hudson frozen, and how this affected the columns.



So not only do these columns change over time, but they also change with the seasons, so how does this affect their materality and preservation? And how can this be portayed through the museum?



I am working and continuing on the portfolio layout and hope to have my work to date formatted in ship chats/log books for the cross-crit. I will explore the themes of objects/places telling stories and work this into the earlier JC walk and book making. I will research into more possibilities of how ships chart time and journeys and manipulate them to suit my project.

I have quickly expanded one of the portfolio pages from the last tutorial to show how the time expands from the past into the present.

Passage of Time A2

At the moment, I’m not too sure about the box around the elevation. I also need to edit the collage to erase multiple buildings and make it clearer- it’s quite difficult as the images were taken from a moving boat so angles and perspectives are all different!


Cross Crit Paragraph

Pier 58: Pier 58 is a project exploring time over a set period, in which journeys and stories are told through materials and places that explore the social history of Chelsea, New York City. The project is a Museum which explores the present through the past, more specifically the use of the Chelsea Piers, what they were and what events have shaped what they are today. The project site for the museum is a series of wooden columns which expand into the Hudson River, between the Chelsea Piers Sports Complex (Piers 59-62) and the vacant Department of Marine and Aviation pier (Pier 57). The client for the project would be the people of New York, visitors, and those interested in social history and events that have shaped NY for today. Looking and researching into local and proposed architecture, historic events and knowledge gained on the research trip will and has enabled me to produce models and drawings of these stories and how the building can reflect this through materials used, in a realistic way. The building will be connected to the river and concentrate and reflect on the journey- the river as the outbound journey and the city as the homeward bound journey.


One thought on “NYC: Pier 58

  1. Its great to see the project taking form through the data collected on site during the trip. Pier 58 is a good territory to intervene within and because of the popularity of the complex, it will generate traffic to visit your proposal. It would be interesting to see how your proposal will relate to the strange architecture of the piers complex – who designed that and what about the space makes it such a popular destination.
    Whats the title of your project – I dont think it should be Pier 58 but rather something that relates to the journey and the relationship between inbound and outbound. I would try to not just focus on history but think about how history impacts the territory of the present – what forces shape the site and its ongoing making. Try to define what the present means for your site/ project – what are the different histories (fact) and stories (fiction) that have shaped its development over time? Your investigation into the wooden piers is really interesting and the forces that have eroded and preserved them over time. This could be an interesting addition to your tech exploration study if you can connect it to the earlier paper investigations. The passage of time drawing is really coming along – I like the elevation of the site and your idea to make the outbound journey about the river and the inbound journey about the city is a terrific start. Keep going with the portfolio and formatting all the site research – try to draw more of what you find interesting about the piers so the pages aren’t only pictorial. Before the trip we discussed, the compass, and other seafaring measurements to chart the territory of your project. This is an interesting project that used maps to define territory and question our position in time/ space through the phrase ‘you are here”: – I showed an example of one of the drawings before in the portfolio presentation but it might give you some ideas about how to redraw your site in terms of the logbook and the journey. Keep up the good work!

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