Grant Marani FRAIA
New York is in the midst of a construction boom that will significantly reshape the ever-changing Manhattan skyline. Downtown, redevelopment at the World Trade Center continues with the completion of the 1,776-foot ‘One World Trade Center’, designed by David Childs of SOM, and Fumihiko Maki’s ‘Four World Trade Center’; ‘Three World Trade Center’, by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners is under construction. Nearby, Robert A.M. Stern Architects’ hotel and residential tower at 30 Park Place has topped out at 926 feet. Santiago Calatrava’s ambitious World Trade Center Transportation Hub, nearing completion, continues to be the focus of concern over cost overruns.
On Manhattan’s West Side, the ever-popular High Line, which has encouraged a new generation of often flamboyant residential buildings to spring up among older industrial buildings, now extends north and west to wrap around Hudson Yards, a major new centre to be built on a platform over the Long Island Railroad train yard west of Penn Station. Here a massive commercial and residential development has kicked off with an office tower by Kohn Pedersen Fox that will rise to 52 stories. At full build-out, Hudson Yards will provide as much floor area as two Rockefeller Centers along with 14 acres of public open space. Office towers and high-rise residential buildings are sprouting up on surrounding blocks, all supported by a soon-to-open extension of the Number 7 subway line, which will connect the neighborhood to Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, and Queens. At the southern end of the High Line, the new Whitney Museum of American Art, designed by Renzo Piano, is scheduled to open in May 2015.
Midtown Manhattan is also in growth mode, with a rank of tall, slender residential towers at the southern end of Central Park coming to be known as Billionaires’ Row. Following the incredible success of Robert A.M. Stern Architects’ 15 Central Park West, completed in 2008, Christian de Portzamparc’s 90-story One57 has just broken the record for New York’s most expensive apartment sale at US$100 million. It will soon be joined by Rafael Viñoly’s 432 Park Avenue, at 1,396 feet already the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere; SHoP’s 111 West 57th Street; 520 Park Avenue and 220 Central Park South, both by Robert A.M. Stern Architects; and the MoMA tower at 53 West 53rd Street by Jean Nouvel. Rezoning proposed for the blocks adjoining Grand Central Terminal and north along Park Avenue may, despite vocal opposition, lead to a new generation of office buildings taller than the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building.
The current building boom is not restricted to Manhattan. In the outer Boroughs, the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront from Long Island City to Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Dumbo, and Brooklyn Bridge Park is the setting for a whole new collection of buildings offering views of Manhattan across the East River.
Photos: NY Post