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This crazy design imagines the future of NYC’s waterfront

Howard Halle

New York may be the greatest city in the world, but looks-wise it doesn't seem very forward-thinking. Sure, sleek silvery high-rises are going up in Hudson Yards, the World Trade Center and elsewhere. Landmarks like the Oculus, the Shed and the Vessel are certainly cool enough. But NYC's skyline as a whole doesn't hold a candle to the futuristic cray-cray of places like Dubai or Shanghai. What we need are more buildings like the ones depicted in a conceptual proposal for a downtown waterfront site called Pier 2.

Photograph: Humphreys & Partner

Designed by Dallas architecture firm Humphreys & Partner, this sustainable, mixed-used project comprises two towers divided into modular units equipped with the latest in AI technology for the home, including drone delivery for online purchases and robotic dry cleaning. There are horizontal elevators in addition to the vertical kind, immersive VR installations in the public areas, and sidewalks and bike paths that generate energy when used.

Photograph: Humphreys & Partner

But wait, there's more! A dedicated transportation hub would accommodate Elon Musk's Hyperloop transit system, as well as an offshore SpaceX platform that would launch and land rockets taking passengers from NYC to Shanghai in 39 minutes. Residences would also have access to self-driving cars and buses.

Photograph: Humphreys & Partner

If someone actually pulled the trigger on Pier 2 now, designers figure that it could be completed by 2024. Alas, this plan will never happen here. But don't be surprised if it pops up in Dubai someday.

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