Move over Central Park: Manhattan is getting a new green oasis on the Hudson River.
Construction has begun on Little Island, a hectare-sized atoll suspended 4.5 metres above the Hudson by 132 bulbous shoots of white concrete, designed to resemble blooming tulips.
The figment of Heatherwick Studio and Signe Nielsen’s collective imaginations, the “floating” park will feature an undulating landscape of lawns, footpaths and shaded areas, with more than 100 species of flora creating another green escape easily accessed by the city’s residents.
Once finished, the island will be accessible by elevated footbridge from Hudson River Park. Year-round performances will be held in the 700-seat amphitheatre, with 51 per cent of tickets to such events charged at either less than US$30 per ticket or free, according to the island’s funding body, the Diller-von Fursternberg Family Foundation.
The endurance of the project is another reason it's an undeniably impressive feat. Plans for the project, formerly known as Pier 55, were unveiled back in 2014 but a number of legal setbacks meant it was almost abandoned completely, while costs for the island have ballooned from US$35 million to US$250 million ($51 million to $369 million).
Little Island is expected to open to the public during US spring in 2021. Until then, there's plenty of other free things to do in the Big Apple.
Image credit: Artist's impression/ Little Island