The sun was almost shining yesterday when we headed over to Pier 40 for a behind-the-scenes, work-in-progress glimpse of a new exhibition as it was being installed for its end-of-the-week opening tomorrow.

The Good Life: New Public Spaces for Recreation, presented by the Van Alen Institute, celebrates architects, designers and artists working with an eye toward 21st century recreation. Curated by Zoe Ryan and designed by Dan Wood and Amale Andraos of WORKac, the exhibition is an impressive roster of newly-developed and reshaped public spaces that ease the grim realities of diminished leisure time, increased working hours and complex geo-politics.

Featuring 70 projects from Buenos Aires to Seoul and Copenhagen to Soweto, the exhibition is housed in a garage at Hudson River Park, a venue chosen partly because of its own large-scale renovation (the Tribeca segment alone is costing $70 million in federal funds). As we watched the show go up, we saw the bands of circling yellow fabric that will highlight the show's five themes: The Cultured City, The Connected City, The Fun City, The 24-Hour City and The Healthy City.

New York City is amply represented. Standouts include Diller Scofidio + Renfro's Lincoln Center redevelopment, the East River Waterfront Study conceived by SHoP and London's Richard Rogers Partnership, the High Line (also by Diller Scofidio + Renfro) and Jonathan Kirschenfeld Associates' Floating Swimming Pool in Brooklyn. London's 36-acre Power Station, an integrated interactive media environment designed by ATOPIA, is pretty cool, too.


Visit "The Good Life" for free Wednesday through Friday 10-6 and weekends 12-6 from September 8 to October 1. Hudson River Park's Pier 40 is at Houston and West Streets. Expect video, gaming, panels and snacks (weekends only) from Restaurant Florent.

Rendering from WORKac