East River, New York City
The East River, historically the East edge of Manhattan, moves more and more into the center, essentially becoming a central line between Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. The X-Pier is not only reaching out onto the water, but potentially also reaching in, connecting the East River Park to the City, which is currently mostly cut off by the FDR Drive. The X-Pier should be considered as part of a regional plan for storm surge protection and rising water levels, with a rise in sea level by as much as two feet along the North American Atlantic coast by the end of the 21st century.*
Sitting at the edge of the city, the interface with the water, at the limit of 14th Street where it meets the East River Park, the X-Pier becomes part of the promenade sequence around Manhattan. Reversing the dominance of the car, the X-Pier gives priority to pedestrians and cyclists. A new transport interchange must be meticulously incorporated to allow easy pedestrian circulation between 14th Street and the East River Park. Moreover, the new reliance on ferries means that many people now arrive from the water at East 34th Street and require safe street crossings and transportation connections.
The X-Pier predicts future patterns of living in the city, re-structuring, systematizing and re-grounding the urban relationship between infrastructure, ecology, and culture, ephemeral and physical. The X-Pier creates a new ground, physically, but also conditionally as a site of interaction. Programs for the X-Pier will be variable and spring from a comprehensive list of possibilities. As the corners and intersections form a line east-west along 14th Street, the pier can be understood as an extension of this line beyond the edge of Manhattan, a vector of energies to the opposite shore and horizon, pier-ing into the future of myth and reality.