Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mega Manhattan a la BIG

© Ike Edeani / The Atlantic

The Atlantic reports on the Bjarke Ingels apartment building currently under construction on West 57th Street (link). If it is half as good as the renderings, it's the most exciting new building in New York in years.

(Updated May 5, 2017, see below)

Ingels designs to the scale of modern development, abandoning outdated and outgrown formulas of towers and slabs, big boxes and malls.

The work reminds me of some of the landform buildings of Spanish Organicism, such as Fernando Higueras' Las Salinas Hotel in Lanzarote. A new approach to the megastructure?

Fernando Higueras, Hotel Las Salinas, Lanzarote, 1973-77

Waïf / Tumblr

Aitor Estevez 2011 / Tumblr

Contemporary postcard. Blog Postales Inventados, Dec. 5, 2009

Kirsten Capps
The Atlantic
May 2015

See also: 
HOT TO COLD: an odyssey of architectural adaptation
Exhibition of work of Bjarle Ingeles
National Building Museum
Washington, DC
Until August 30, 2015
Catalog available

BIG: Bjarke Ingels Group

Update May 5, 2017


Image may contain: sky, skyscraper, cloud and outdoor
Photo: Jeffrrey English, April 16, 2017

I took a stroll with my friend Jeff around the finished building on a recent trip to New York.  The impact from the street is brutal. You see how cheaply it is thrown together. On the back side on West 58th Street the ground floor is full of floor-height mechanical louvers, and on 57th the aluminum-framed storefront glazing isn't much better. Though at least this facade got some sunshine. Definitely a design for the distant view - and for the media view.

The idea of living there isn't very appealing either. Too much like a beehive, you imagine the warren of narrow corridors on every floor, and the little studios and one-bedrooms. Like an over-dimensioned college dorm or, inevitably, a cruise ship without public spaces.

The location is not attractive either, but that's nothing new on Manhattan's formerly industrial and fast-developing Hudson River environs.

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