Leroy Street Studio and dlandstudio

To develop a cohesive site strategy, Hester Street Collaborative invited Leroy Street Studio architecture (LSS) and dlandstudio architecture and landscape archtitecture to serve as master site advisors. They have worked with community stakeholders and artist teams to create a site strategy for the Pier 42 interim park. The design strategy includes elements designed and built by dlandstudio and LSS in conjunction with artist-led community teams.


Leroy Street Studio is an award winning architectural practice inspired by innovation in design, the craft of construction, and a collaborative approach that places our clients’ needs at the center of the design process. LSS helps to forge a project brief by pursuing intensive research into local building techniques, systems and materials, as well as rigorously examining the physical, social, and environmental context. We derive architecture through a synthesis of diverse forces that allow us to create a unique design for each client, informed by their requirements and desires.

In 2002, in an effort to adapt our process to address the needs of those who do not have access to design services, LSS founded Hester Street Collaborative, a non-profit design/build workshop that helps students and local residents improve their public spaces. In 2008, informed by their backgrounds in contracting, they founded BLDG, a construction management company dedicated to bringing LSS clients a better, more cost-effective product through an integrated design and construction process. In 2010, LSS added an in-house interior design department.


ENTRY TUNNEL: As part of the 2014 site strategy, a new entry tunnel encourages pedestrians on the East River Park esplanade to discover what lies around the bend at pier 42, while adding a dynamic entry point to the park. Activated by the wind, the 40-foot tunnel is created by a dense array of vibrant blue tubing supported by repurposed utility poles.


Entry tunnel by Leroy Street Studio, 2014


Entry tunnel by Leroy Street Studio, 2014

LSS + HSC + M.S. 131: SHADE CANOPY: As part of the 2013 site strategy, LSS spearheaded the building of a shade structure on Pier 42 to serve as an anchor for on-site programming by providing sheltered space for classes and activities. Its form and materiality reference the past and present mythology of the NYC Waterfront: nautical flags, billboards and suspension bridges. In 2014, Hester Street Collaborative worked with 150 eighth graders from Middle School 131 to design a new mural for the canopy that is composed of more than 1,000 individually painted flags that interpret river creatures and city life.


Shade Structure and Canopy by Leroy Street Studio, 2013

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Shade Canopy by LSS + HSC + M.S. 131, 2013


dlandstudio is an interdisciplinary design firm founded in 2005 by Susannah C. Drake. Prior to starting an independent practice, Susannah worked for architects and landscape architects in New York, Cape Cod, New Hampshire, Wyoming and San Francisco. Exposure to diverse ecosystems, population densities, and scales of operation enriched her vision of what makes places truly special.

The firm provides an integrated approach to planning, programming and design. As leader and collaborator on large teams that include architects, artists, landscape architects, planners, and engineers, dlandstudio helps enrich team consideration of expressions of landscape meaning while maintaining focus on project goals throughout the development process. The firm is committed to creating projects with a strong conceptual basis drawn from an understanding of the place, the client, the program, and appropriate construction techniques. Our goal is to create beautifully designed, ecologically intelligent, and well executed projects that work well at the large scale and are executed in rigorous detail.

Since its establishment, dlandstudio has grown to include both national and international projects. Recent works include the Gowanus Canal Sponge Park™, a public open space system designed to absorb and remediate stormwater, the Brooklyn Bridge Pop-up Park, a temporary waterfront open space that attracted almost two hundred thousand visitors over thirteen weeks of operation in 2008, and the security for the New York City Police Department headquarters in Lower Manhattan. dlandstudio’s current international work includes the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls outside of Lilongwe, Malawi and the design of a 1200 acre public park and resort development in Abuja, Nigeria. The firm’s Brooklyn Queens Expressway trench study and Gowanus Canal Sponge Park™ project are the recipients of numerous awards from the American Institute of Architecture and American Society of Landscape Architects.


dlandstudio + Two Bridges: LANDSCAPE ELEMENTS: In 2013 and 2014, dlandstudio’s installations include planters, bench seating and stage platforms to help transform Pier 42 into a temporary park. In 2014 dlandstudio created site-specific installations to interpret environmental conditions on the pier, such as albedo effects and microclimates; and the different ways soft and hard surfaces manage stormwater in conjunction with Two Bridges’ STEM- based afterschool and summer camp, which uses the pier as a living laboratory to explore our urban ecosystem.


Landscape elements by dlandstudio, 2014


Painted site mural in shades of gray used for testing albedo effects by dlandstudio + Two Bridges, 2014.