Race Street Pier

Designed by james corner field operations, the Race Street Pier is located along Philadelphia’s Delaware River.

As the project seeks to connect the city with the river, reactivating the water’s edge and establishing the area as an intimate public park, the new park runs parallel to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, extending 152,5m into the water.

A split environment encourages a range of contrasting activities, the upper level acting as a ‘sky promenade’ for walking, cycling and jogging, the lower for passive recreation. An integrated ramp bridges the two platforms, dramatizing the sense of space and arrival while providing rare views back to the city.


A series of synthetic wood benches wrap around the incline marking the 12m elevational difference and merging the two levels.


Acting as functional and flexible seating, the tiered and tapered platforms add a sense of sculpture and definition to the otherwise simple design.

The Race Street Pier will be an integral part of a series of open space improvements proposed every half mile along the central Delaware as part of the new Master Plan for the Central Delaware.

Project facts:

1.Trees: The 37 large caliper Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor) trees are very special. They were cultivated for four years at a nursery in Millstone, N.J for the World Trade Center Memorial at Ground Zero in New York City.

2.Grasses and Perennials: Almost 10,250 individual 10cm pots of shade tolerant grasses and perennials were planted in weathered steel planters to increase diversity and add texture, color and seasonal interest.

3.Lighting: The park’s setting under the Ben Franklin Bridge is spectacular at night; therefore the park was designed to be enjoyed in the evening as well as during the day with extensive lighting including 200 LED Solar Light Blocks embedded into the paving.

4.Paving: The paving on the upper level ramp is Trex, a sustainable synthetic decking material made out of reclaimed plastic and wood, representing one of the largest public installations of Trex decking in the country.

5. Railings: The perimeter railing leans at a 65 degree angle towards the pier, further accentuating the forced one-point perspective of the ramp rising along the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Lights are incorporated into railing on the lower level.

text: http://www.designboom.com, http://www.delawareriverwaterfrontcorp.com

images:  http://www.designboom.com

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