The Pop-Up Park at Pier 1 was a temporary, public open space installed in the summer of 2008, concurrent with Olafur Eliasson’s ‘Waterfalls’ exhibition in New York Harbor. DLANDstudio used the term Pop-Up Park in reference to retail practice of doing quick, high-impact installations for special events. Built for less than $3/square foot out of mostly donated materials, the park was the only public space in the city where all four waterfalls could be seen. The project brought excitement and good will to the site by prefiguring the future permanent Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Given the constraints of ultra-low budget and very little time, we created a solution that made the most of basic ecological principles to render the site comfortable and desirable. A café was operated out of a recycled shipping container. We borrowed trash cans, picnic tables and umbrellas from the Parks Department and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. Trees were donated by a local nursery and then used by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation for other projects. A silt barrier of hay bales was transformed into a ‘Chia’ hedge with the addition sedums that required little water and a lot of sun. We painted the asphalt surface that we were given a light color to increase its albedo (reflectivity) to bring the ambient temperature down to a level where it was comfortable on even the hottest summer day. Grass was used very selectively as jewel like seating cushions, reflecting its delicacy in an urban setting. Lastly we created a nautical themed scavenger hunt for kids, which was painted on the ground by DLANDstudio designers. The park attracted almost 200,000 visitors from 52 countries over its thirteen-week installation in the summer of 2008.