Join ASLA-NY for a tour of Little Island, New York, NY
Come join MNLA’s Signe Nielsen, Daniel Yannaconne, and Rita Kwong, and Little Island’s Project Executive and ASLA-NY past president, Celine Armstrong, for a personal tour of the soon-to-be-opened Little Island.
MNLA collaborated with Heatherwick Studio to design Little Island (formerly Pier 55), a dramatic 2.4-acre public park in the Hudson River that brings together art and nature in an immersive experience. Conceived as a leaf floating in the water, the pier contains unexpected topography that frames views, defines landscaped spaces, and provides resilience against climate change.
The lifted corners of the pier create distinct microclimates that reveal themselves through color, texture, light, and shadow. Whether meandering along paths, stairs, or boulders scrambles, the eye is at times directed inward to the rich palette of plants or outwards to spectacular views of the city and harbor. Little Island is a maritime botanic garden with 35 species of trees, 65 species of shrubs, and 350 varieties of grasses, perennials, vines, and bulbs, many of which have been selected for their fragrance and attractiveness to birds and pollinators. The landscape is one of sweeping swaths of textures and seasonally calibrated color themes punctuated by magnificent trees.
Barry Diller, in partnership with Hudson River Park Trust, called on the expertise of industry leaders in the arts to explore the vast possibilities of creating a new public park embedded with diverse cultural offerings. Together with Heatherwick Studio and MNLA, architectural innovation and a captivating landscape will provide visitors with an oasis from urban life where they can play, relax, imagine, and restore.
Signe Nielsen, FASLA – Principal in Charge, Lead Tour Guide for MNLA
Signe is a Founding Principal of MNLA and has been practicing as a landscape architect and urban designer in New York since 1978. Her body of work has renewed the environmental integrity and transformed the quality of spaces for those who live, work, and play in the urban realm. A Fellow of the ASLA, she is the recipient of more than 100 national and local design awards for public open space projects and is published extensively nationally and internationally. Signe is a professor of urban design and landscape architecture at Pratt Institute in both the graduate and undergraduate Schools of Architecture and serves as president of the Public Design Commission of the City of New York. Born in Paris, Signe received a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in Urban Planning from Smith College; a Bachelor of Arts in Landscape Architecture from City College of New York; and a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Pratt Institute
Dan Yannaccone, LLA, ASLA – Project Manager, MNLA
Daniel is a Senior Associate at MNLA who joined the firm in 2008. With more than 20 years of experience, he is a masterful site planner who emphasizes ecological and sustainable practices when creating meaningful spaces that respond to both people and the environment. Daniel has led the design of waterfront parks and resiliency projects throughout New York City, public and private plazas and parks, streetscape improvements, athletic fields, and innovative storm water management systems. He has successfully navigated local and state agencies for approvals and permits for public and private clients from schematic design through construction administration. He received a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Rutgers University.
Rita Kwong, RLA, ASLA – Project Landscape Architect , MNLA
Rita is a Senior Landscape Architect who excels in site planning and the construction of waterfronts, greenways, plazas and streetscapes. Her experience includes projects throughout the Northeastern U.S. from which she developed expertise in site design, transportation planning, and GIS database development. She has a strong interest in the technical aspect of landscape projects, such as grading and construction detailing. She is also interested in landscape infrastructure projects that promote sustainable living in the urban environment. She received a Master of Landscape Architecture and a Master of City and Regional Planning from Cornell University in 2011.
Celine Armstrong, ASLA, LEED AP – Project Executive, Little Island NYC
Celine Armstrong is an urban designer and landscape architect with more than 15 years of experience focusing on the built environment. In her role as Project Executive of Little Island, she oversees the design and construction of the $250M pier, shepherding the vision into a waterfront park for New Yorkers. Celine holds a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University in the City of New York and Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture with a Minor in Planning from Kansas State University. She lives in New York City with her husband, Chuck and their two children.
Space is limited! Advanced registration is required. Masks will be required to participate in the Tour.
Registration is initially open to members only. Non-members, please check back as we do anticipate opening up registration.
We have reached capacity for this event. Please contact [email protected] to be placed on the waitlist.