South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 is getting a sleek new makeover. A green-roofed glass and steel structure designed by SHoP Architects will replace the current complex that sits on the water’s edge. The revamped center will begin construction in 2013, with a grand opening in 2015.

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green design, eco design, sustainable design, South Street Seaport, Pier 17, SHoP Architects, Howard Hughes Corp, Peck's Slip, Lower Manhattan

The current center at Pier 17 has become more of a cheesy tourist trap, laden with overpriced souvenir shops and chain restaurants. The sites developers, the Howard Hughes Corp., foresee a modern, more upscale vision for the piece, complete with quality boutiques, superior restaurants, and entertainment, all with gorgeous views of the harbor.

If approved by Community Board 1, the new plan would demolish the current structure, but adaptively reuse the existing steel framework. The SHoP-designed new center would have a more open plan than the current mall-like structure, with a streetscape feel at ground level which would incorporate individual shops and restaurants that open onto the pier. In nice weather, the first two floors would be open-air, but in rain or snow, they would be enclosed with retractable glass garage-style doors. When closed, the glass doors will still allow the interior to be flooded with natural light, as well as provide visitors with sweeping views of the Brooklyn Bridge and waterfront.

Crowning the new structure would be a large green roof. Covered with a public lawn, the roof would give visitors a place to relax, enjoy views, and dine alfresco. The developers also plan to host live concerts on the roof in summer, which could accommodate 600 to 700 seats.

The plan still needs to gain approval from several agencies, such as the Landmarks Preservation Commission and Department of City Planning, but if all goes as planned, the present obtrusive building will be replaced by a more subtle glass structure, that will also infuse a green space on the touristic area of South Street Seaport.

+ SHoP Architects

Via DNA Info