A Floating Park Lands in the Hudson River

Over the past month, the Knightsbridge Park team has been obsessed with British designer Thomas Heatherwick’s “Little Island” project, which is in the process of dropping a park in the Hudson River.

Located off the Chelsea shore at Pier 55, “Little Island” will be a freestanding elevated waterfront park suspended on mushroom-shaped columns.

Heatherwick and landscape architect Mathews Nielsen designed the park as a place for performance and discovery, with the varying elevations providing multiple vantage points from which to view the iconic Manhattan skyline on one side of the river and New Jersey on the other.

The project grew from the bones of an old pier, which had left wooden piles sticking out of the river in their own “monument” to unused waterfront space.

Heatherwick’s contest-winning design was based on the image of a leaf floating on a body of water and uses the shapes of the piles as a base for an explosion of greenery growing up seemingly from the water itself.

When complete, “Little Island” will span 2.4 acres and feature a dense layout of groves and lawns cut through by winding paths, complete with spectacular views at every external railing and a short footbridge connecting it with the cultural wealth of Chelsea.

Now, six years after the project was first approved, construction cranes sprout from the concrete, a sign that the expected completion date of 2021 is nearing.

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