500 W 70th St. New York, NY
An ode to the summer sun, the Pier i Café is a sweet seasonal gem in Riverside Park South. This unassuming café, tucked under the towering West Side Highway, hibernates during the winter then transforms a bustling, flowering, delicious-smelling beacon of refreshment for anyone lucky enough to pass by. The Café is situated right on the pedestrian/bike path that winds through the park and is a great spot to meet up either before or after a long day in the sun. We gave this open-air café the sleek industrial treatment, using steel, steel and more steel. The café itself is a streamlined arc, allowing customers to enjoy a more relaxed, cafeteria-style experience. There are repurposed shipping containers behind the café, used for restrooms and storage. But the main feature is the perforated yellow steel screen. Opaque enough to create a de facto "dining room" away from the serving area, but open enough to allow Hudson breezes to reach all the way to the kitchen.