SkyShore

  • Sited along Manhattan’s East River, the program and aesthetic of SkyShore is heavily influenced by its riverside environment. Every day, tons of sand are removed from the bed of the East River to make way for ever larger commercial freight ships. SkyShore makes use of this excess material in a public landscape where dredged sand is cleaned and reused for recreational purposes. The limitations of the site led to many explorations of looping, folding, and stacking to condense miles of beach front into a confined site. Coney Island became a historical stimulus, raising questions about the limits of what is considered a beach, the role of public recreation in an urban center, and how a new beach typology could serve all of New York. Designed in partnership with Robinson Strong of Pratt Institute.
  • A series of formal studies packing a linear beach into much smaller footprints.
  • An exploded view showing the additional programs that supplement the beach. Each sand-covered loop contains commercial or recreational space within. The ground level contains enough activities for a full day at the beach, but it can just as easily be an hour long lunch spot for workers in the area.
  • SkyShore replaces Lower Manhattan’s Pier 17. The Brooklyn Bridge looms over the site, which is highly visible on the Brooklyn side of the East River. 
  • The approach from the edge of Lower Manhattan. SkyShore is primarily concrete, with an internal structure similar to that of an elevated freeway. 
  • When one beach loop intersects another, interior circulation space is created allowing patrons to jump from level to level while searching for the perfect spot to sunbathe. Three central towers connect the ground level of SkyShore to the beach loops, each containing commercial spaces and changing rooms.
  • A perspective from the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • While primarily active during the day, SkyShore also offers an illuminated nighttime landscape for patrons who like to stay after dark. In the winter, the beaches can be converted into ski and snowboard runs, while the internal rivers can become ice skating rinks, making SkyShore beneficial throughout the year.
  • The cellular pattern applied to the structure of SkyShore is designed to be viewed from the Brooklyn Promenade across the East River, dissolving the overall form and at the same time differentiating it from its backdrop. The aerated concrete structure rises out of the water like a coral reef, supporting the beach.
  • The final plans show the exterior areas of sand and water (Top), the interior commercial and recreational spaces (Middle), and the ground level programs with shore access (Bottom).
  • An advertisement graphic for SkyShore, styled after 1950’s beach movie posters.
  • A final model was 3D printed and placed in a site model.
  • An early distributed version of the beach