West 57th by BIG


West 57th by BIG

Danish architects Bjarke Ingels Group have designed a residential building for Manhattan, New York, with a rectangular plan pulled up at one corner to form a triangular tower. 

West 57th by BIG

Called West 57th, the 600-apartment block will be organised around a central courtyard, providing residents with views of the Hudson River.

West 57th by BIG

The sloping roof will rise to a peak of 467 ft and its surface will be punctured by roof terraces.

West 57th by BIG

The other three façades will comprise balconies and bay windows serving each of the apartments.

West 57th by BIG

Construction is due for completion in 2016.

West 57th by BIG

More projects by Bjarke Ingels Group on Dezeen »

West 57th by BIG

More residential architecture on Dezeen »

West 57th by BIG

Here's some more information from American developers Durst Fetner Residential:


West 57th, designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, introduces an entirely new residential typology to New York City that will add an inviting twist to the Manhattan Skyline.

West 57th by BIG

Durst Fetner Residential (DFR) today announced the design of West 57, a 600-unit 80/20 residential building on West 57th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues.

West 57th by BIG

The building is designed by renowned Danish Architect firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and is their inaugural North American project. The building’s program consists of over 600 residential units of different scales situated on a podium with a cultural and commercial program.

West 57th by BIG

The building will strive for LEED Gold Certification. “It’s extraordinarily exciting to build a building whose architecture will attract visitors from around the globe,” said, Hal Fetner, CEO of Durst Fetner Residential.

West 57th by BIG

“BIG’s design is innovative, evocative and unique and the building’s beauty is matched only by its efficient and functional design that preserves existing view corridors while maximizing the new building’s access to natural light and views of the Hudson River.

West 57th by BIG

West 57th will establish a new standard for architectural excellence and its creative design, sustainable-construction and operations, breathtaking views and distinctive amenities will make it New York’s most sought after residential address.”

West 57th by BIG

The building is a hybrid between the European perimeter block and a traditional Manhattan high-rise.

West 57th by BIG

West 57th has a unique shape which combines the advantages of both: the compactness and efficiency of a courtyard building providing density, a sense of inti- macy and security, with the airiness and the expansive views of a skyscraper.

West 57th by BIG

By keeping three corners of the block low and lifting the north-east corner up towards its 467 ft peak, the courtyard opens views towards the Hudson River, bringing low western sun deep into the block and graciously preserving the adjacent Helena Tower’s views of the river.

West 57th by BIG

“New York is rapidly becoming an increasingly green and livable city.

West 57th by BIG

The transformation of the Hudson River waterfront and the Highline into green parks, the ongoing effort to plant a million trees, the pedestrianization of Broadway and the creation of more miles of bicycle lanes than the entire city of my native Copenhagen are all evidence of urban oases appearing all over the city.

West 57th by BIG

With West 57th we attempt to continue this transformation into the heart of the city fabric – into the center of a city block,” Bjarke Ingels, Founder, BIG.

West 57th by BIG

The form of the building shifts depending on the viewer’s vantage point. While appearing like a warped pyramid from the West-Side-Highway, it turns into a slender spire from West 58th Street.

West 57th by BIG

The courtyard which is inspired by the classic Copenhagen urban oasis can be seen from the street and serves to extend the adjacent greenery of the Hudson River Park into the West 57th development.

West 57th by BIG

“The building is conceived as a cross breed between the Copenhagen courtyard and the New York skyscraper. The communal intimacy of the central urban oasis meets the efficiency, density and panoramic views of the tall tower in a new hybrid typology. The courtyard is to architecture what Central Park is to urbanism: a giant green garden surrounded by a dense wall of spaces for living”, Bjarke Ingels, Founder, BIG.

West 57th by BIG

The slope of the building allows for a transition in scale between the low-rise structures to the south and the high-rise residential towers to the north and west of the site. The highly visible sloping roof consists of a simple ruled surface perforated by terraces— each one unique and south-facing.

West 57th by BIG

The fishbone pattern of the walls are also reflected in its elevations. Every apartment gets a bay window or a balcony to amplify the benefits of the generous view and balconies which encourage interaction between residents and passers-by.

West 57th by BIG

DFR commissioned Copenhagen based BIG in the spring of 2010 to introduce a new residential typology to Manhattan. As of 2011 BIG has opened a new office in New York in order to oversee the development and upcoming construction of West 57th.

West 57th by BIG


PROJECT: West 57th Street
CLIENT: Durst Fetner Residential
ARCHITECT: BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group SIZE: 870,000 ft2 (80,000 m2)
LOCATION: Manhattan, New York, USA
STATUS: Direct Commission

West 57th by BIG

COLLABORATORS: SLCE Architects (Architect of Record) , Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects, Thornton Tomasetti (Sturctural), Dagher Engineering(MEP), Langan Engineering (Civil), Hunter Roberts (Construction Manager), Philip Habib & Assoc. (Transportation), Israel Berger & Assoc. (Building Envelope), Nancy Packes (Marketing), Van Deusen & Assoc. (Vertical Transportation), Cerami & Assoc. (Acoustical), CPP (Wind), AKRF (Environmental), German Glessner (Renderings & Animation)

Partner in Charge: Bjarke Ingels
Project Leader: Beat Schenk
Project Architect: Sören Grünert
Team: Thomas Christoffersen, Celine Jeanne, Daniel Sundlin, Alessandro Ronfini, Aleksander Tokarz, Alessio Valmori, Alvaro Garcia Mendive, Felicia Guldberg, Gabrielle Nadeau, Ho Kyung Lee, Julian Liang, Julianne Gola, Lucian Racovitan, Marcela Martinez, Maria Nikolova, Minjae Kim, Mitesh Dixit, Nicklas Rasch, Riccardo Mariano, Stanley Lung, Steffan Heath, Thilani Rajarathna, Xu Li

See also:


The World Village of Women Sports by BIG 8 House by
Zira Island masterplan by

Posted on Tuesday February 8th 2011 at 12:41 pm by Catherine Warmann. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Isaac

    Now it is boring to see this projects… Always the same everywhere in the world

  • Flying Dutchman

    BIG are as usual extremly good at selling theire projects. Nice renders and diagrams! Really a contrast to manhatten-cubes.

  • Andy

    The ice sheets coming off of that slope will be a gory spectacle.

  • James

    The form seems really contrived to me.

  • dainty10

    Although it's lovely, there's a reason NYC is full of high-rises full of closet-sized apartments.

  • adam

    he's too young to be repeating himself this much.

    • James

      There is nothing wrong with repetition or redundancy if it was done correctly the first time. Architecture can't be invented anew each attempt.

      • Roberto Souls

        However, It can be improved upon, especially in BIG's case, at the very least, intellectually elaborated. It is as though there is no post-construction evaluation. They just keep going and going and…

    • JOE

      "One doesn't invent a new architecture every Monday morning,” Mies

  • John

    Looks like BIG is in a deep rut and runs the risk of becoming a "one trick pony".

  • Yes very cool design but does it answer the developers concerns for floor area efficieny? As we all know the most efficient plate is rectangular as indicated in the base of the building. As soon as you add the courtyard the efficiency of the building is out the window and not to mention the triangular spaces. I wonder how many NY developers will really build more buildings like this one…. We are not in Dubai but NY!

    • Wei Huang

      Douglas Durst wants to retain the view from the building behind, which was named after his daughter, that’s why the building gives way in the south.

  • cacas

    for an apartment building is excelent!

  • onurcantepe

    bjarke uses the metaphor of "survival of the fittest" to explain design process in his studio that they start with hunderds of alternatives to a problem and then they start eliminating the ones that can not adapt itself to the necessary conditions. it is interesting that they started to come up with similar solutions after such a process that one would expect more varied solutions. i doubt his honesty about the process.

  • david

    You can really tell from the comments that we now follow architects like they are magicians. The reality is that NYC is a fairly conservative place when it comes to architecture and real estate and this building is a bold stroke in that context. It might not be BIG's most shocking form but it will be one of New York's more interesting shapes. It could possibly inspire a more "Danish" sensibility in future developments–which would be nice.

    • amsam

      David is right– NYC badly needs some more interesting buildings than it usually gets. However much BIG's work may stay within their style, it's a cool style and it would suck if only one city got to have such a building. Haters gonna hate I guess.

    • Rich Brome

      Agree 100%.

  • steve

    This is really nice work, well done BIG, you are an ongoing inspiration


    To accomplish a building like this in NYC is refreshing. Architecture in NYC has been dead since the 50s (flat iron 1902, empire 1931, gugg 1959) until very recently (Nouvel, Foster, H&DeM, Piano, Gehry). Real estate has defeated any curiosity, resulting in spaces joe shmoe expects and nothing new is discovered. Though the idignant, comical "diagram becomes building" approach simplifies a fairly complex process, it is legible to everyone. I wish he taught classes about marketing and starting an architecture office rather than the drivel coming off as education he achoos into the ears of Arch student around the globe. Enough hating, hes getting this built in NYC and that's nothing to scoff at. Ride that pony all the way to the bank!

    • agagnu

      Not Gehry, please?! BIG is way, way more mature than the old man.

  • JohnJ

    Ah, the BIG hate bandwagon. You know you are doing well when people hate everything you do on design websites.

    Sure, it explores similar themes and styles to their previous work. But its context is quite different so it will be interesting to see how it conforms to NY. And I much prefer the kind of skinning thats taking place on the roof, versus the sort of Mayan-esque pyramiding that happened on prior projects. I think its way more exciting than many other buildings happening in NY.

    Alright, carry on.


    Wow, quite a lot of criticism in the comments, about lack of originality, one trick pony in a rut…?
    The proposal is a sound, solid, sensible, sunsual soliloque on the simplistic sadness of superdense starck surroundings! Wow so many big words all with and S. No seriously (hmm) – its responsive, clear, imaginative, realisable and no doubt meets the programme. Should make the developer loads of money! and be a positive contridubtion to the urban fabric – what more can you ask for?

  • riza

    it must be scary to be in the backside. million eyes staring me :(

  • Ejay

    I think it's the general sense that this brand of newness has been seen before, and before, and before…with a great deal of hyperbole always trumpeting it and in tow behind. This global style becomes, instead of a harbinger of the better world it promises endlessly, a signifier for big, big money, as if the city is being colonized by a future we cannot afford.

  • Lot of comments on what this building looks like – highly subjective and personal. Put that to one side and you might see the cool public green space in the middle of it and a big sign at the front of the building declaring it a community facility. But then you can begin to wonder how 'public' or 'community' orientated it really would be. Strikes me it could easily become just another highly controlled 'public' space with one intention only – to serve commerce. But is that the architect fault or societies?

  • mattysco

    This is not a good design. The value of properties in NY make this totally uneconomic. It’s pretty mainstream. I see this type of junk all the time. I’m guessing the developer will reject this.

  • agagnu

    The devil is in the details and whole-life maintenance costs on co-owners.

  • This is a brilliant building in an amazing location, by a fantastic architecture firm. The west side of Manhattan is becoming the city’s experimental zone with BIG certainly involved in leading the way.

    I love seeing the skyline change with new sharp shapes. Not all gorgeous, but so it goes. I live here and this city is the perfect place for ideas (and arguments)!

  • Jack Faber

    Wow, another BIG collection of boxes…

  • Jack Faber

    PS, meet developer’s floor area concerns? Who cares? The ‘architecture’ is still sh** even if it did.