Dezeen Magazine

New York "courtscraper" by Bjarke Ingels set to open in March

Via 57 West, the tetrahedron-shaped Manhattan apartment tower by BIG, is preparing to welcome its first group of tenants next month.

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While the building is not yet complete, the developer offered a sneak peek of the 940,000-square-foot (87,330 square metres) tower this week to select media outlets. 

The structural frame was completed last summer, and interior work will continue for the next few months. Tenants will begin moving into finished units starting in March, according to the developer, The Durst Organisation.

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Located on 57th Street on the west side of Manhattan, the metal-clad building features a sloped facade on the south side, with terraces that look toward the Hudson River.

The building is pulled up on the northeast corner, where it rises to 467 feet in height (142 metres), while the opposing corner approaches the ground.

BIG carved a large, angular void from the centre of the mass and placed a 22,000-square-foot (2,040 square metres) courtyard at its base.

"We call it a courtscraper," Ingels told Dezeen in an 2014 interview. "It's a combination of a skyscraper and a courtyard building. One side is the height of a handrail and the other side is the height of a high-rise."

The tower contains 709 rental units and a host of amenities, including an indoor basketball court, pool, fitness centre and screening room. The project also features ground-level retail space totalling 45,000 square feet (4,180 square metres).

Market-rate apartments – from studios to four-bedroom units – range from $2,700 to $22,000 per month (£1,930 to £15,785).

The building also contains 142 units that qualify as affordable housing, with monthly rents starting at $565 (£405). Approximately 17,000 applications have already been received for the affordable units.

Work is still underway on amenity spaces, the courtyard and many of the apartments. A drone video released last September captured progress on the building.

Fronting a highway, the tower is being constructed in an area with a mix of building types, including a power plant and a sanitation garage. A luxury condo tower by Alvaro Siza is slated to rise across the street.

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Via 57 West is set to become BIG's first completed building in North America. The Danish firm, which opened a New York office in 2010, is also designing Two World Trade Center and The Spiral office tower, both in Manhattan, and a police station in the Bronx.

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Other current BIG projects in the US include the new Google headquarters in California, an office tower in Philadelphia's Navy Yard, and a primary school in Virginia.