Pier 17

The redevelopment plan for South Street Seaport at Pier 17 will create a vibrant retail and lifestyle destination in Manhattan. The contemporary redesign, conceptualized by SHoP Architects, will honor the sites historic roots as a bustling marketplace and influential port of trade.The revitalization includes lush open spaces, a rooftop venue and 365,000 sq. ft retail environment. SHoP Architects commissioned L’Observatoire International to create the lighting design for the building’s facades, roof spaces, and all interior and exterior public areas.  


L’Observatoire drew inspiration from the natural aquatic environment of the Pier and the building’s relationship to water and river surroundings.  White, sparkling lights of the facade and exterior spaces are linked to the lunar cycle, oscillating between warm and cool colour temperatures synced with the patterns of the tides and moon. On the exterior, L’OI worked with James Corner Field Operations to integrate lighting into concealed fixtures providing a well lit and warm ambiance, and easy to navigate pedestrian space.


In pursuit of LEED certification, L’Observatoire employed daylighting techniques and dynamic state of the art technologies.  During the day, mirrored glass dissolves reflections and light captured from the sky and refracts them into the space. At the interior, a wood slatted ceiling provides backlighting to offset the glare of excessive natural and artificial light.

At night, L’Observatoire designed a system to illuminate the building as lightbox. The building is framed as glowing lantern poised on the East River, shining visibly from Dumbo and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Location New York, New York, USA
Architect SHoP Architects
Client The Howard Hughes Corporation
Type Mixed Use Retail + Galleries
size300,000 ft2 / 28,000 m2
Status In Progress
Photo Credits SHoP Architects