2/08/2011

West 57th, Manhattan, New York by BIG

BIG unveiled yesterday their first project in North America with this apartment building design. This asymmetrical building is located in West 57th, Manhattan. His first American architectural project will be the occasion to rethink apartment building typology.
West57th © BIG

The building will be implanted in an awkwardly shaped 33,667.55-square-meter (110,458-square-feet) site surrounded in its three sides by buildings with various volumes and scales. This site is situated on the West Side Highway and 57th Street. The general character of building in this area is typically Manhattan typology allowing the agency to envision a new dwelling typology. BIG aims at rethinking the New York apartment building typology by integrating European style. This results in a mix of typical Manhattan tower podium and a European-style low-rise apartment block. Opting for the perimeter block, BIG proposes to turn the building toward the water, respect neighbor's views as much as possible, and negotiate a transition from the Hell's Kitchen to the towers situated on Riverside South.


Diagram © BIG
The particularity of the perimeter block provides high urban densities without high-rise buildings.
Diagram © BIG
Due to the site conditions, BIG will opt for a asymmetrical building shape taking account of the surrounded buildings' size as well as emplacement on site and the streets along the future building.
Diagram © BIG
The basement will have a rectangular form in accordance with the site size. Yet the site context and the building codes will modify the building shape.
Diagram © BIG
© BIG

The rectangular block is cut out in its center creating a central green courtyard exclusively accessible for the residents but visible from outside.
Diagram © BIG
The North-East corner will be lifted up while the three other corners will be pulled down creating an asymmetrical form. The three corners will be kept low. The building will be pushed back from the highway and the sanitation garage in response to traffic noise so that a continuous slope to a sharp 37.15-meter (450-feet) sharp peak rises.

Diagram © BIG

The central leafy green courtyard will provide a best diffusion of natural light and air within the block bringing the low western sun deep into the block.
Diagram © BIG
The inclined surface will be slashed with south-facing terraces. The visual density of the decoration on the curved facade permits to increase the more oblique the view, privileging an interaction between the residents and the passers-by. Each apartment will have windowed bays having advantage of the views.
© BIG

Technically and aesthetically, this "iconic" apartment housing will surely contrast with its surrounding not only in terms of shape but also of facade.  It appears to be thought to create a close relationship with the residents and their surroundings and to slightly change the character of this district.

Building fact
Project: West 57th
Program: Apartment housing
Architects: BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group
Location: Manhattan, New York, USA
Landscape Architects: Starr Whitehouse
Strucutural Engineers: Thornton Tomasetti
MEP: Dagher Engineering
Civil: Langan Engineering
Building Envelope: Israel Berger & Associates
Client: Durst Fetner Residential
Project Area: 265,176 sqm (870,000 sqf)
Rendering and Animation: German Glessner

Credits
All diagrams, renderings © BIG and German Glessner

Source: archdaily

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