Steeplechase Pier

Steeplechase Pier

NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, NYC Department of Design and Construction
Coney Island, NY
Completed 2013
35,700 sq ft

Special Recognition, Award for Excellence in Design, the New York City Design Commission, 2013

In the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, LTL Architects was hired by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and the Department of Design and Construction to be part of a collaborative team charged with restoring access to the beaches.  LTL Architects was given the challenge of redesigning the iconic Steeplechase Pier in Coney Island which had sustained significant damage during Sandy.  The reworking of this pier gave an opportunity to rethink the pier's identity to meet current and future needs, while acknowledging its historical legacy.  When it was originally built, the nearly three football field length pier projected out far enough into the ocean to accommodate the draft of ferry boats bringing customers to the amusements of Coney Island, notably the Steeplechase Amusement Park.  In recent years, with the Park and ferry connection no longer in operation, the Steeplechase Pier has become a destination itself, serving as a public promenade, fishing perch and tourist destination.  

In addition to restoring the integrity of the structure and deck, LTL Architect's design amplified the current use of the Steeplechase Pier, integrating a series of new moments to intensify the experience and function of the Pier as public space for amusement, play and delight: 

  • A series of new double-sided benches, allowing users to either view out to the water or enjoy the urban spectacle.
  • A communal wave bench, providing a collective surface for lounging and sunning.
  • A shade canopy marking the crossing point of the pier, with the words "CONEY ISLAND" created through a series of tabs welded into the shade system, marking the deck of the pier during sunny days with the iconic name in shadow. 
  • An elevated observation platform as a destination point at the end of the pier, providing an uninterrupted vista to the horizon beyond, while facilitating pedestrian circulation.  
  • An oculus located in the desk at one of the pier sides, and a drop-down seating area at the other, creating distinct ways of engaging the water. 
  • A new guardrail system with custom angled vertical posts that catch and amplify the beach sunlight.  

Client:  City of New York:  New York City Department of Parks & Recreation; New York City Department of Design and Construction
Project team:  Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, David J. Lewis; Kristen Alexander, John Morrison, project manager; Carly Berger, Luciana Varkulja, Jayme Elterman
Structural Engineer:  McLaren Group
Electrical and Fire Protection:  SRW Engineers
Construction Management:  Jacobs
General Contractor:  Triton Structural