Winterland atop the Rooftop at Pier 17

New York, New York

New York is a city full of dynamic entertainment and iconic spaces. The Howard Hughes Corporation developed Pier 17 in Manhattan’s evolving Seaport District to be home to a number of these new and exciting venues in a city known for them. The new Winterland Ice Skating experience at the Rooftop at Pier 17 is home to New York City’s first-ever rooftop ice-skating rink and its dramatic vantage point takes in historic sites like the Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State Building, not to mention the resurgent Seaport District.

Creating the Winterland Experience atop the Rooftop at Pier 17

As Architect of Record, we worked closely with Winterland’s designers, The Rockwell Group, and client The Howard Hughes Corporation to create a new premier winter destination. We leveraged our other experience at Pier 17—including our work at the new Malibu Farm—to create the 34,000-square-foot space is home to a L-shaped ice skating rink, an event hall, a warming hut bar and a restaurant/lounge venue. Each structure takes design cues from the historic water towers of New York and the cold-weather warming huts that dot winter landscapes throughout Europe.

Designing Event Spaces to Warm Up within Winterland

Skyline Hall, the flexible event space, is designed to host events ranging from a 400-person dinner to a 1,500-person gala. The rink-side location and panoramic views make Skyline Hall a prime location to take in all that Winterland has to offer. Like the other structures on site, the hall is temporary. The clear span tent is comprised of Plexiglass walls and is designed to be taken down at the end of each five-month season and stored until the next winter.

The Tank is New York’s version of a warming hut. Located directly off the ice, visitors can cozy up to a cup of cocoa or take a break from ice-skating in the ski-chalet setting. Outside, food trucks offer a rotating supply of local fare that can be enjoyed in the adjoining seating area.

Crafting a Unique Ice Skating Experience

The unique shape of the ice-rink encourages visitors to engage with the ice in a more interesting way than just going around in circles. The geometry allows for a variety of events beyond skating, like broomball, curling and other activities. An electric Zamboni is always a crowd pleaser, residing in its very own warming-hut style shed.

The lighting scheme throughout the project references not only the lights of the New York cityscape, but also of the stars twinkling in the sky every winter. Bulbs cast a warm glow and spotlights flood the rink with light. It all combines to create a vibrant atmosphere for ice skating or taking in the sights and sounds of the vibrant Seaport District in winter.

Our team coordinated all these design elements to help bring the magic of the winter season to New York’s newest waterfront entertainment hub.