Star architect’s, Bjarke Ingels (BIG) half-pyramid VIA 57 West is completed on Manhattan and it’s exactly what we expected it to be: sharp, moderately ambitious and filled with the spirit of “ it should be completely different from the city’s other skyscrapers”.
Founded in 2005, the Danish company (BIG) consists of architects, designers and builders and specializes in architecture, urbanism, research and development. It is very popular and appreciated by the society, which can be seen in the number of current and completed projects, and received awards. Buildings designed by them are scattered in different parts of the world.
In spring, 2010 BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) was commissioned by one of the oldest real estate companies in New York, “The Durst Organization” to create a design for new residential complex; construction began in 2011 and by fall 2016 it’s already completed. It should be noted that this is company’s first building in New York.
The design of sharp half-pyramid is innovative and original; 80, 000 square meters of high rise is a perfect blend of an American skyscraper and European inner courtyard. Rectangular building offers 709 living units and a courtyard.
An important part of the complex is a yard in its the center, which has proportions like Central Park, only it’s 13, 000 times smaller. Its design belongs to landscape architects of “Starr Whitehouse”; in the eastern part of the yard, there are numbers of newly planted trees and in the western parts there are sunny meadows with over 47 kinds of plants.
It should be noted that 34-storey complex standing near Hudson River occupies almost an entire block of the city. Three corners of the building are low and the maximum height of 142 meters it reaches in the north-east corner; accordingly the sight varies depending on the point of view, it looks like a pyramid from the west, and like a high pillar from the east. With this shape number of flats increase and residents can enjoy wonderful views of the city and river.
The glass surface of the skyscraper is rugged at some places and smooth at the other; it depends on whether the apartments have terraces or windows on the whole length. Balconies located on the north façade of the building are reversed at 45 degrees.
Upon entering the complex, you’ll find yourself in a large, wide reception; here walls are decorated with bricks and exactly replicate the uneven shape of buildings walls. There is a restaurant, swimming pool, movie-theater, basketball court and other entertainment spaces; while on the other floors there are one, two, three and four bedroom studio-style apartments with balconies and terraces.
Apartments are very comfortable and the environment is looked after too; for example the flat is designed so that it’s water and energy saving, but not at the expense of residents’ well-being. In some rooms windows replace whole walls and oak flooring. Kitchens are equipped with high tech and counters are decorated with white stone. There are pre-ordered equipment installed in bathrooms too.
Bjarke Ingels’ this project really contrasts with New York skyline’s other monsters. Like Renzo Piano’s “SHARD” but still very different with its forms, it is a good example of ideal combination of modern architecture and comfortable life.
Author: Meri Khamkhadze