On Lower Manhattan’s East River waterfront, the Howard Hughes Corporation’s Pier 17 stands as a prominent marker of the revitalized Seaport district of NYC. Designed by SHoP, the four-story building, clad largely in glass, offers significant retail and restaurant space and is home to ESPN’s live broadcast studios. The building features a 1.5-acre activated rooftop that serves as a year-round community amenity, including a restaurant, outdoor bars and a venue to host concerts and events during the warmer months of the year.

Celebrating this new hub of public activity in a previously forgotten part of the city, L’Observatoire International created the lighting design for the facade, roof spaces, and all interior and exterior public spaces. The customizable scheme follows an annual and daily schedule to highlight the lunar cycle and feature special events and holidays throughout the year.

On the exterior of the building, the lighting is integrated into the reinforced glass facade and can be programmed with a single scheme or can be animated for a dynamic display. This lightshow can, in turn, be linked to the illumination of the building as a whole, transforming the entire glass structure into a glowing lantern, a luminous beacon for this commercial and cultural destination.

The radiating jewel box emits energy and excitement to the surrounding neighborhood and becomes an inviting gateway on the skyline, visible from across the water and connecting the Manhattan and Brooklyn waterfronts.


300,000 ft2 / 27,870 m2



Date Completed


Project Leader


Esteban VarasPapon Kasettratat

Ellisrael Daing

Jeff Taylor

Mikael Charpin

Photo Credit

C. Taylor Crothers