BIG’s West 57th tower block introduces new residential typology to New York City

Durst Fetner Residential (DFR) yesterday announced the design of West 57, a 600-unit 80/20 residential building on West 57th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues. The building is designed by renowned Danish Architect firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and is their inaugural North American project. The building’s programme consists of over 600 residential units of different scales situated on a podium with a cultural and commercial program. The building will strive for LEED Gold Certification.

BIG’s West 57th tower block introduces new residential typology

The building is a hybrid between the European perimeter block and a traditional Manhattan high-rise. The twisted form of the West 57th development combines the advantages of both: the compactness and efficiency of a courtyard building providing density, a sense of intimacy and security, with the airiness and the expansive views of a skyscraper. By keeping three corners of the block low and lifting the north-east corner up towards its 467 ft peak, the courtyard opens views towards the Hudson River, bringing low western sun deep into the block preserving the adjacent Helena Tower’s views of the river.

The form of the building shifts depending on the viewer’s vantage point. While appearing like a warped pyramid from the West-Side-Highway, it turns into a slender spire from West 58th Street. The courtyard which is inspired by the classic Copenhagen urban oasis can be seen from the street and serves to extend the adjacent greenery of the Hudson River Park into the West 57th development.

Bjarke Ingels, Founder of BIG explains: “The building is conceived as a cross breed between the Copenhagen courtyard and the New York skyscraper. The communal intimacy of the central urban oasis meets the efficiency, density and panoramic views of the tall tower in a new hybrid typology. The courtyard is to architecture what Central Park is to urbanism: a giant green garden surrounded by a dense wall of spaces for living.”

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