Dezeen Magazine

Work starts on New Jersey's tallest building by HWKN and Handel Architects

News: construction is now underway on a 222-metre skyscraper by New York studios HWKN and Handel Architects that is set to become the tallest building in the state of New Jersey.

Named Journal Squared, the residential development will be located in the Journal Square district of Jersey City, adjacent to the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) rail station that links the city with Manhattan.

Work starts on New Jersey's tallest building by HWKN and Handel Architects

Designed as a collaboration between HWKN and Handel Architects, the development will accommodate 1840 apartments within a cluster of three pointed towers, each clad externally with metal panels.

The 222-metre structure will rise up at the front of the site and will be accompanied by towers of 193 and 175 metres, making it visible from the New Jersey Turnpike and from New York across the water.

Work starts on New Jersey's tallest building by HWKN and Handel Architects

The base of the towers are designed to break down into smaller volumes to relate to the scale of surrounding buildings, offering a series of ground-floor restaurants and shops.

"Our goal was to design an urban space that knits together the existing urban fabric of Journal Square, while also creating an iconic presence in the skyline that can be seen from Manhattan," said Matthias Hollwich, partner-in-charge at HWKN.

"We designed a building that works equally well at the scale of the Turnpike, where hundreds of thousands of people will see it every day, and at the scale of the human who walks and lives in the city," added HWKN partner Marc Kushner.

Work starts on New Jersey's tallest building by HWKN and Handel Architects

Integral to the proposal are public realm improvements that will overhaul the rear entrance to the station, replacing loading bays and parking areas with a tree-filled public plaza expected to play host to farmer's markets and outdoor film screenings.

"Journal Square offers a new urban community, not just for the people who will live here, but for the region. It will be a place that people will be passionate about," commented Handel Architects principal Gary Handel.

The project is funded by property developer KRE Group. The first phase of development will be the smallest of the three towers and is scheduled for completion in 2016.

Work starts on New Jersey's tallest building by HWKN and Handel Architects

Here's some extra information from HWKN:

Tallest building in New Jersey breaks ground, designed by Hollwich Kushner (HWKN) and Handel Architects

Journal Squared is an important milestone as Jersey City's development boom moves inland. The project sits adjacent to the Journal Square PATH stop and promises to bring great density to the site while working to connect to the existing fabric of the neighbourhood.

Journal Squared is that long sought after transformational project. Unanimously approved by the Jersey City Planning Board, it will be the linchpin in the City's Journal Square redevelopment efforts. The development hopes to create a prototype for future transit-oriented developments around the world.

Pivotal to the project's design is the transformation of the current back entrance to the Journal Square PATH stop into an inviting place and a public amenity. Acres of land previously dedicated to asphalt, station loading, and parking will be reclaimed in a sweeping, tree-filled plaza that is activated by community events such as farmer's markets, bicycle parking, evening film projections and events along its low stairs that slope down to the PATH station.

The 2.3 million square foot project touches the ground lightly as its mass morphs into smaller units to relate to the lower density neighbourhood around it. This base hosts active program like retail, restaurants, lobbies and parking. Three residential point towers rise above the base and include 1,840 units. The tallest tower, at 70 storeys, is expected to be the highest residential building in New Jersey. The first of three phases, topping out at 54 stories, broke ground in January 2014, and is expected to be complete in mid-2016.

The graceful proportion and subtle lustre of the metal panel clad towers will be an elegant centrepiece for the community and a bold counterpoint to the brutalist concrete PATH Station. In addition, Bruce Mau Design has developed the visual identity for Journal Squared, including wayfinding, signage, and environmental graphics. BMD created a look and feel that reflects Journal Squared’s core values as a bold, modern brand that is sophisticated and energetic, while staying true to the history of the neighbourhood.