Pier in the Pier

Ina Morenés


Degree(s): MA, International Cooperation and Project Development; BBA, Business Administration in C.U.N.E.F., Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Pier in the Pier is a community center located in one of the piers in the Hudson River, on the west side of Manhattan. The design of the figure/ground composition represents the point where the ocean and the land meet. A clean, bright and harmonious environment is created by uncluttered spaces, glass walls, natural light and openness. Materials include concrete, birch, glass, and steel.

        Expressing on the idea of a sea arrival, the entrance is formed by multiple pivoting glass doors that face the Hudson River, signifying welcome and openness. The floor, representing the sea beneath the piers, is made of poured, wood-stained concrete with the texture of water ripples. A gathering space is flanked by wedged-shaped rooms, forming a learning center that addresses crucial needs for refugees arriving in a new and different culture: civic education and language classes. Custom furniture—the W Chair, W Table and O Table—reflect the wedge as a signature of the center.

          More public areas accommodate administrative offices, an information center and a library and computer lab. This area extends over the Hudson River, taking advantages of the view and the light; there is a quiet reading corner next to a large window. The shape of the exit, in the back, in a sense represents a funnel. The visitor arrives by sea, receives information and support, and exits better prepared to face the City of New York.

          Faculty for the project:Sandra Arndt