An installation, entitled Magic Carpet, by Josemaria de Churtichaga of Spanish architecture firm, CHURTICHAGA + QUADRA-SALCEDO, is a riff on Pier 57’s nautical past as a shipping terminal.
Young Woo and Associates (YWA), the developer behind the other container-centric bazaar Dekalb Market, is in the process of retrofitting the historic pier into a marketplace-meets-culture hub. Still in its early stage of planning, the firm tapped Churtichaga to enliven the building’s ground floor by integrating industrial shipping containers into the cavernous space. Churtichaga suspended 36 of the steel boxes from the ceiling, each just ten feet off the floor. They can be re-arranged to accommodate a variety of activities, events, or exhibits. For visitors looking up, these hefty metal boxes appear almost weightless.
Currently, the ground floor is home to a spattering of pop-up shops, such as Takumi Tacos and Soludos, housed in containers and an old school bus. YWA plans on a complete overhaul of the pier with the help of Handel Architects and LOT-EK, which will include a rooftop park and a 425,000-square-foot marketplace built from containers for retail, restaurants, and cultural programming. The pier is expected to be fully open by 2015.