Billionaire Barry Diller has plans to build a $250 million floating park in New York City, and the designs look incredible

Pier55 Inc/Heatherwick StudioA rendering of the proposed floating park, called Diller Island, in Manhattan, New York.

Media mogul Barry Diller’s plans to build a floating public park on a Manhattan pier are moving forward.

Diller unveiled the project, dubbed Diller Island, in 2014. But his plans have had some hiccups. Over the past three years, costs have soared from $US35 million to $US250 million; and the civic group City Club of New York filed a series of environmental lawsuits, funded by real estate tycoon Douglas Durst, to scuttle Diller Island’s construction.

Diller pulled the plug in September 2017. But the project has now been revived after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo persuaded all parties to come to a consensus on the park’s design, according to The New York Times.

Check it out below.


Diller plans to build the floating park on the Hudson River near West 13th Street in Manhattan.

Pier55 Inc/Heatherwick StudioA rendering of the proposed floating park, called Diller Island, in Manhattan, New York.

The project’s initial name was Pier 55, a play off its location at Pier 54. If all goes according to plan, Hudson River Park Trust will lease the park, and Diller’s nonprofit Pier 55 Inc will maintain it.


Supported by 300 mushroom-shaped, concrete columns, Diller Island will be on top of a platform that’s 186 feet from the shoreline. It will be built above the predicted floodplain.

Pier55 Inc/Heatherwick StudioA rendering of the proposed floating park, called Diller Island, in Manhattan, New York.

Source: The New York Times


Lush gardens and paths will fill the space designed by Heatherwick Studios.

Pier55 Inc/Heatherwick StudioA rendering of the proposed floating park, called Diller Island, in Manhattan, New York.

The park will also host performances in a 700-seat amphitheater. Most will be free or low-cost.

Pier55 Inc/Heatherwick StudioA rendering of the proposed floating park, called Diller Island, in Manhattan, New York.

Diller and his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, have committed $US250 million to the project, which the Trust approved in 2015. New York State will finance the construction of an $US18 million esplanade that will lead to Diller Island from the pier.

Pier55 Inc/Heatherwick StudioA rendering of the proposed floating park, called Diller Island, in Manhattan, New York.

Source: DNA Info


Construction will include the demolition of the decaying Pier 54, where survivors of the Titanic were brought in 1912.

Pier55 Inc/Heatherwick StudioA rendering of the proposed floating park, called Diller Island, in Manhattan, New York.

Over the past few years, plans to build Diller Island have been contentious. Members of the City Club argued that park’s construction would hurt marine life in the river.

rhockens / FlickrPier 54 in Manhattan, New York.

In October, Cuomo said that the state will work to protect the estuary, but did not reveal specifics.


London tried to construct a similar park, dubbed the Garden Bridge, on the Thames River. But Mayor Sadiq Khan scrapped the project in August, and said taxpayers should be “very angry” over wasted public funds that totaled $US43 million.

Heatherwick Studio/PAA rendering of the proposed Garden Bridge for London.

Heatherwick Studios spearheaded the designs of both Garden Bridge and Pier 55.


Another floating park has already been realised in Brooklyn. Dubbed Swale, the barge contains fresh fruits and vegetables that visitors can forage for free.

SwaleNYC’s Swale in 2016.

Swale is a collaborative art and food project sponsored by two nonprofits: the New York Foundation for the Arts and A Blade of Grass.


Before Diller Island’s construction can start, the team will need to reinstate its agreements with the Trust, as well as the state and federal agencies that granted permits to the project. It could open by late 2020.

Pier55 Inc/Heatherwick StudioA rendering of the proposed floating park, called Diller Island, in Manhattan, New York.

Source: The Associated Press

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