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Sun Shelter: An Architectural Design Competition


Can riverfront infrastructure be repurposed for recreation?

Competition Launch: March 1997

Responding to a wave of development and investment in the Hudson River waterfront, Van Alen Institute joined with the Hudson River Park Conservancy and the Young Architects Group of the AIA New York Chapter in 1997 to launch a competition for a “Sun Shelter” at Pier 54. The program challenged designers to focus on the constructional and material aspects of a structure to be located within a planned waterfront park, and that could support passive recreational use and foster individual or collective activities including sitting, viewing, reading and conversing.

Michael Bradley, Property Manager, HRPC

Edward Kirkland, Hudson River Park Historical Working Group

Guy Nordenson, Structural Engineer

Peter Rothschild, Landscape Architect

Adrian Smith, Project Manager, HRPC

Henry Smith-Miller, Architect

Tod Williams, FAIA, Architect


First Prize $2,000

Scott Habjan (New York, NY)


Second Prize $1,000

Martha Skinner and Douglas Hecker (New York, NY)

Third Prize $500

Christopher Bardt and Kyna Leski, Studio 360° (Providence, RI)

William Sharples, Chris Sharples, Corie Sharples, Gregg Pasquarelli, Craig M. Schwitter and Andre Chaszar (New York, NY)
Matthew Baird and Betty Chen (New York, NY)
Marissa Tempone and Scott Demel (New York, NY)
Robert Westling and Brad Cronk (Maplewood, NJ)
Philippe Baumann and Karl Jensen (New York, NY)

Hudson River Park Conservancy
Young Architects Group of the AIA New York Chapter
Van Alen Institute


October 7, 1997: Forum, “Gimme Shelter.” Panel discussion with the jurors about concepts and themes in the competition submissions.