The East River Ferry Terminal at E 34th St in Manhattan is the primary public ferry boat terminal in a major sustainable transportation initiative along the East River. The new terminal is the first public project in New York City to be constructed with digitally fabricated shop-built building components that were transported for rapid on-site construction. Program elements required for the ferry terminal were ‘atomized’ due to tight municipal budget constraints and larger than anticipated marine Pier 34 reconstruction costs. The design turns this ‘reduction’ into an exploration and demonstration of energy efficient, ‘atomized’ services in the massing, cladding and fabrication strategies. These design innovations include integrating architecture and advanced engineering to minimize structural steel, use of an innovative and lightweight triangulated column structure, and a fully tensile, structural lenticular roof canopy system with integrated soft day lighting wells, LED lighting and environmental sensing system.
The design takes a non-nostalgic attitude toward the NYC Riverfront. Pier 34 is re-designed and expanded to provide passengers with ticketing and waiting facilities for two ferry berths. The surfaces of the architecture support an innovative distributed network of services, scaled to the passenger and integrated in undulating perforated wall screens, benches and public furniture elements. The 34th Street Ferry Terminal creates a public architecture which integrates the physical experiences of the river front with the expanded virtual experiences of the working commute: GPS, cell phone and Internet access. Large lighting wells (oculi) in the translucent tensile membrane roof provide natural daylight. The play of light from the water is reflected along undulating walls of perforated aluminum. At night, the light wells use solid state lighting to illuminate the translucent canopy and register the flows of people on the pier and the tidal flows that move under the surface of the East River.
ARCHITECT: Kennedy & Violich Architecture STRUCTURAL ENGINEER, ROOF: Schlaich Bergermann & Partner LP MARINE STRUCTURAL & CIVIL ENGINEER: McLaren Engineering Group MEP ENGINEER: Lakhani & Jordan Engineers SECURITY: Cosentini Associates LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS: Ken Smith Landscape Architects INTERACTION DESIGN: Small Design Firm, Inc. CONSTRUCTION PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY: Julie Jira FINAL PHOTOGRAPHY: John Horner