Lower Manhattan's Pier 17 Revitalized

Sept. 25, 2019

Located in New York City’s South Street Seaport, Pier 17 anchors an extensive redevelopment project that is focused on transforming the historic Lower Manhattan neighborhood into a thriving cultural, retail and entertainment center.

New York City
SHoP Architects

To apply powder coatings in a challenging marine environment. As the firm selected to rehabilitate Pier 17, a once-thriving festival pavilion that had devolved into a dreary indoor mall, SHoP Architects had four essential demands for the metal coatings supplier.

The first was, due to its location, the coating had to include a long-term warranty covering film integrity, chalk and color fade. The second was that the metal coating must be solvent-free to help the project earn leed certification for the exterior curtainwall components. The final requirements were that the coatings applicator had to be certified by both the iso and the coatings’ manufacturer.


Scott Moffatt, PPG market manager, building products, suggested a PPG Duranar powder topcoat, but only if it could be applied over a robust liquid primer. The only solution to achieving the warranty the architect required with a powder coating was to apply it as part of a two-coat system over a proven primer to optimize corrosion protection.”

PPG also worked with the architect to develop a custom color for the aluminum curtainwall extrusions. The architect wanted mill-finished aluminum with an industrial look and a clear coat on top. “They could never really achieve that look and still get the adhesion and warranty they wanted, so PPG came up with a silver color that looks like a weathered mill aluminum,” said Neil Chrisman, president, Spectrum Metal Finishing.

Another aspect of the project is the application of the coatings—designed primarily for exterior metals—on more than 500 interior wall panels that are visible through two stacked rows of 20-ft. tall light boxes that compose much of the façade.

“We developed this unique stencil, basically a dot matrix pattern, to diffuse sunlight as it comes through the light boxes,” said Chrisman. “We painted the metal panels with a silver-gray Duranar sunstorm coating, then applied the stencil and painted them again with a bone-white Duranar coating. After the second coat dried, we peeled off the stencil.”


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