In recent months, two events have done more harm to the “brand” of architecture in the public’s perception than anything I’ve experienced in the 40 years that I have been in the profession.
First, there was the grand opening of New York City’s Hudson Yards, a massive $20 billion development on Manhattan’s far west side. This first phase opened after seven years of construction and included an obligatory gathering of “world class” architects—Kohn Pedersen Fox, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, SOM, The Rockwell Group—as well a folly by designer Thomas Heatherwick.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group's iconic Shed has opened after more than a decade in the making in New York City. The building features a 120-foot telescopic shell in Hudson Yards that can extend out from the base building when needed for larger performances. Clad in ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) “pillows,” the project is connected to the High Line on 30th Street to bring performances and art to the city's newest neighborhood,
“Hudson Yards’ Large Honeycomb… Hudson Yards’ New Shawarma Sculpture…” Call it what you want, but the Vessel has created quite a buzz over the past couple of weeks, and it is not just because of its impressive architecture, or the panoramic view at the top (to which some claimed that getting there was an uncalled for work-out).
New York City’s Hudson Yards has opened its doors to the public, and the reviews are flooding in. Built on Midtown Manhattan’s West Side, the project is New York’s largest development to date and the largest private real estate venture in American history, covering almost 14 acres of land with residential towers, offices, plazas, shopping centers, and restaurants. A host of architecture firms have shaped the development, including BIG, SOM, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Rockwell Group, and many others.
Read on to find out how critics have responded to Hudson Yards so far.
New York City’s long-awaited Hudson Yards has finally opened its doors to the public for the first time. Built on Midtown Manhattan’s West Side, the project is New York’s largest development to date and the United States’ largest private real estate development, covering almost 14 acres of land (more than 56,000 sqm) with polished residential towers, offices, plazas, gardens, shopping centers, and restaurants, all designed by some of the world’s most iconic architects.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill have revealed new images of their design for 35 Hudson Yards, a new tower that will be part of the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States. SOM provided architectural design and structural engineering services for the mixed-use tower in New York, which is set to become the tallest residential building in Hudson Yards. Standing 1,000 feet tall, the project will express transitions in program as a series of setbacks twisting around the tower.
Architecture and design firm DXA studio was awarded Grand Prize for their design for an urban pathway in New York City. Submitted for Construction Magazine’s 2019 Design Challenge, the project would span 9th Avenue to connect the new Moynihan Train Hall to the High Line and Hudson Yards. The design was created to push the boundaries of contemporary steel construction and create a signature public pathway for New York.
Construction has begun on “The Spiral,” a 1,031-foot-tall project in New York’s Hudson Yards designed by Bjarke Ingels Group. The fifth supertall to be added to the area, The Spiral was commissioned by developer Tishman Speyer as part of the ongoing revitalization of the Midtown West region of Manhattan.
The tower is named after its defining feature - an "ascending ribbon of lively green spaces" that extend the High Line "to the sky," says Bjarke Ingels. The scheme will offer 2.85 million of office space, with the anchor tenant Pfizer occupying 18 floors, according to New York YIMBY.
There’s something striking about the command center of America’s largest private real estate development, Hudson Yards, in that it’s actually pretty boring. The room—technically known as the Energy Control Center, or ECC for short—contains two long desks crammed with desktop computers, a few TV monitors plastered to the wall, and a corkboard lined with employee badges. The ceiling is paneled; the lighting, fluorescent. However, New York’s Hudson Yards was once billed as the country’s first “quantified community”: A network of sensors would collect data on air quality, noise levels, temperature, and pedestrian traffic. This would create a feedback loop for the developers, helping them monitor and improve quality of life. So where is the NASA-like mission control? Data collection and advanced infrastructure will still drive parts of Hudson Yards’ operations, but not (yet) as first advertised.
For those in the northern hemisphere, the last full week in January last week kicks off with Blue Monday - the day claimed to be the most depressing of the year. Weather is bleak, sunsets are early, resolutions are broken, and there’s only the vaguest glimpse of a holiday on the horizon. It’s perhaps this miserable context that is making the field seem extra productive, with a spate of new projects, toppings out and, completions announced this week.
The week of 21 January 2019 in review, after the break:
Construction has completed on Diller Scofidio + Renfro (Lead Architect) and Rockwell Group's (Lead Interior Architect) 15 Hudson Yards, an 88-story skyscraper marking the first residential project in the Manhattan masterplan. The scheme is now open with 60% of residential units already sold, totaling over $800 million in sales.
New renderings and details of The Shed at Hudson Yards have been revealed as the structure’s ETFE panels continue to be installed ahead of its Spring 2019 opening date.
The new images show how some of the cultural venue’s interior spaces will look, including the galleries and the vast event space created when the wheeled steel structure is rolled out to its furthest extents. This space will be known as “the McCourt,” named after businessman Frank McCourt Jr, who donated $45 million to the project.
Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group, the 200,000-square-foot cultural center was envisioned as a spiritual successor to Cedric Price’s visionary “Fun Palace,” a flexible framework that could transform to host different types of events.
Hudson Yards’ first condominium tower, 15 Hudson Yards, has topped out at its full architectural height of 914 feet, with exterior cladding also more than halfway complete. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (the firm’s first true skyscraper) in collaboration with Rockwell Group and executive architects Ismael Leyva Architects, the tower will contain a total of 285 residences, half of which have already been sold.
New York’s most highly anticipated cultural venue, The Shed, is giving visitors the chance to preview some of their innovative programming a year before its planned opening at a temporary pavilion designed by architect Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ and artist Tino Sehgal.
To be located at the corner of Tenth Avenue and 30th Street in Manhattan – across the street from the rising Hudson Yards development and future home of the Shed – the pavilion has been designed to accommodate a variety of program types with its reconfigurable structure. Events will include concerts, dance battles, discussion panels and more.
The idea for the vessel came from feeling that we shouldn’t just make a sculpture or a monument – it felt to us that rather than building a sculpture, it would be great if something was creating more public space.
Heatherwick Studio’s glimmering staircase monument, ‘Vessel,’ has topped out after eight months of construction at New York City’s Hudson Yards development. Consisting of 154 flights of stairs, 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings, the sculptural public space has now reached its full height of 150 feet, which will allow it to offer sweeping views of Manhattan’s west side when it opens in early 2019.
New York Yimby has uncovered a new rendering of the FXFOWLE-designed 3 Hudson Boulevard showing an updated design featuring a 300-foot spire that would make the building the tallest in the Hudson Yards complex, and one of the tallest in the city.
Reports indicate that the building, formerly known as the Girasole, would rise a total of 1,350 feet, placing it just below 432 Park Avenue’s 1,397 foot peak. Approximately 1,050 feet of the building’s height would be occupiable, with 1.8 million square feet of office space spread across 66 total floors.