Narrow site, in Manhattan, destined for residential work. Waterfront property. Surrounded on three sides by dense urbanity.
Solution? BIG (as in BIG Architects…) magic.
Inspired by courtyard block typology, W57 marries old-world urban fabric with NYC-style high-rise residential living to create what the firm calls a “courtscraper” – a marvelous pyramid that spins the typical apartment tower to create so much more.
For starters, there’s the courtyard itself, a space that inverts the traditional outward gaze of an apartment block and give the residents a commons to be a part of and play in. The dramatic shape also allows for sun to penetrate deeply into more of units and to the waterfront itself, while doing the amazing double task of giving both more units in the building views of the river while also protecting the views of the surrounding buildings. A saw-tooth pattern of balconies and glazing lets even the units on the straight, north side of the building maintain views towards the water, while letting in light. With its sweeping form, the building also elegantly handles the transition in scale from the open waterfront to its existing neighbours.
All from a simple and ingenious twisting of the building’s shape.
BIG continues to impress me with their projects, really digging deep into the underlying intentions of a building and playing with them until something extraordinary comes out, both in form but also, especially, in function. There’s much to love here not only because of its uniqueness and boldness, but because it makes for a better living. These units get views and access and light and great spaces atypical of Manhattan high-rise living. Wicked stuff.
And check out this wonderful view from the new into the old…
I’d love to have that unit. Sold!
(Images from fieldcondition)