SHoP Architects Gives the Seaport District an Amazing Revamp


Shout out to SHoP Architects for their revamp of the South Street Seaport from tacky tourist destination to “Seaport District.”

And on a side note, even bigger kudos to SHoP for having their American Copper Buildings named building of the year by Curbed’s editors.

But back to the Seaport District. I had not been aware of all the changes underway down there until this week when I went to check out the Sea of Light installation. These interactive orbs (ranging up to nine feet in height), “react” to sound and movement patterns.

The installation’s creators are Alexander Green and Symmetry Labs. The same people behind the very instagrammable installations at Burning Man, the Super Bowl and 29Rooms.

The display, comprising 150,000 LEDs, is the largest of its kind. Definitely worth a trip downtown.

Remember: the orbs are only operational after 5pm. It is up through March, 2018.

I’m curious to see how SHoP Architects will develop this area. How residential will it become vs. commercial? It’s still touristy but the quality of the restaurants, bars and retail has gone up. And with the iPic movie theater at Fulton Market, more locals are coming here as well.

The Seaport building (at Pier 17) will be home to restaurants by Jean Georges and the Momofuku Group.

ESPN has also just signed on and will be the biggest tenant with studios as well as offices.

Read on below for more on SHoP’s projects. Clearly one of the hot shops for young architects looking to work on signature projects for the most exciting companies in the world.

SHoP Architects, for those of you not familiar, is one of the best and most creative firms in the country. I am a huge fan because they are so tapped into the art world. Their projects generally include an iconic sculptural installation.

Here are a few examples of their outstanding work: SITE SANTA FE, La Guardia Airport Master Plan, Botswana Innovation Hub, Barclay’s Center, UBER HQs in San Francisco, Domino Sugar Refinery Master Plan, Google Inc. Offices in Mountain View California. And many more.

The only project they’ve done that I consider a total bust is Mulberry House which happens to be in my neighborhood at Mulberry and Houston Streets. AWFUL, an absolute eyesore. I have no idea how this got built.

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