West 57th Street, Manhattan
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)
Status: Seeking land-use approvalBy Laura Mirviss
|Image courtesy Big/Glessner Group|
The slanted pyramid will sit atop a podium containing a lobby, shops, and cultural space. Ingels says the sloping facades will ensure that tenants in an adjacent structure still have river views. The slopes also respond to their context metaphorically: The building angles upward from west to east (from the shoreline to the city) and from south to north (from the low-rise Clinton district to high-rise Midtown).
West 57 would mark BIG’s first building in the United States. Its design is reminiscent of prior work by the firm, such as 8 House in Copenhagen [record, August 2011, page 44], which, in addition to courtyards, features balconies angled to maximize views.
Expected to cost more than $500 million, West 57 has far to go before becoming reality. Developer Durst Fetner Residential is seeking land-use approval and hopes to begin construction in early 2012. In the meantime, BIG, whose New York outpost has 20 employees, is pursuing commissions across the Americas. Currently, it’s designing a master plan for a 40 million-square-foot neighborhood on the South Chicago waterfront.