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The new eco-park and urban beach at Pier 35 will anchor the northern boundary of the East River esplanade project, providing much-needed outdoor space for the local community along the waterfront and acting as an innovative habitat restoration park. The pier features an accordion-like design, creating the sense of a “folded” terrain. A series of landscaped lawns and dunes create a walkway, while an inclined, plant-covered folded screen wall acts as a “green” billboard to the city. Rising to a height of 35 feet and stretching over 300 feet in length, the screen wall also effectively camouflages the adjacent Sanitation Department shed at Pier 36. The use of live materials, such as the metal screen and weathered steel wall panels is reminiscent of the East River’s history as a working waterfront. A raised porch with custom swings provides a place to relax and take in the views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, and Brooklyn Bridge Park. In addition, with a grant from the New York Department of State’s Division of Coastal Resources, Mussel Beach was created as an ecological prototype, replicating the characteristics of the historic East River shoreline. The pier’s folded terrain drops down into the river, creating a gradient of sloping planes that interface with the daily rising and falling of the tides. The habitat feature was designed specifically for mussels, with sloping precast concrete surfaces, textures, and rockeries in the tidal z one. Throughout the project’s planning phases, the design and City teams committed to a participatory process, gathering and incorporating community input and attending more than 70 separate meetings with community boards, tenant associations, civic leaders, maritime experts, and elected officials. The resulting design provides an oftenoverlooked section of the East River esplanade with a lush, landscaped outdoor space for passive relaxation and enjoyment.

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