Finalist

VIA 57 West, New York

Architects: Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Kopenhagen/Denmark
Client: The Durst Organization
Function: Residential
Height: 144 m
Completion: February 2016
Location: New York NY/USA

VIA 57 West, © Foto: Bjarke Ingels Group, Nic Lehoux

In densely built-up metropolises such as New York, city planners and architects are forced not only to build ever higher, but also to develop innovative concepts. Some of the investor’s specifications with regard to the exterior form were clear: the building was to distinguish itself visually from an office high-rise and at the same time not obstruct the view of the Hudson River from the neighbouring residential tower (also by Durst). The architects responded to with the innovative concept of a “courtscraper”. The hybrid of an American high-rise and a European perimeter development turns away from the building to the north-east and is orientated towards a green interior courtyard. At the same time, it affords views of the Hudson River to the west from the balconies integrated into the roof surface. Almost all of the 709 apartments enjoy a view of the river and the sunset. As almost every apartment is unique, owing to the complex geometry of the building, and few types are repeated, the architects had to develop up to 250 different floor plans. This sculptural prototype therefore offers a quiet, sheltered oasis within the loud city, without being closed off from it. The creation of such natural and quiet zones in ever denser metropolises is one of the challenges of modern-day city planning and an ever more common aspect of contemporary high-rise architecture.

VIA 57 West, © Foto: Bjarke Ingels Group, Nic Lehoux
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