Even in a place as packed with impressive skyscrapers as Manhattan, SHoP's American Copper Buildings stand out. Clad in 4.25 million pounds (1.9 m kg) of copper, the luxury residential buildings lean, in a way likened to dancing by the firm. They're also built with flooding in mind and will keep residents supplied with electricity should the grid go offline.
The American Copper Buildings rise to 41 and 48 stories respectively. According to developer JDS Development Group, their distinctive angled design isn't purely aesthetic but helps to maximize the view. Whatever, they look fantastic, and it'll be interesting for locals to watch them change color over time as the copper oxidizes.
The project was planned in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and aims to offer residents a degree of security should serious flooding or another disaster leave the area without power again (not an impossibility, it seems, given the towers' location along Manhattan's East River waterfront).
A space originally intended for a penthouse suite was given over to five gas-powered emergency generators that will offer residents enough electricity to continue to run their fridges, charge mobile devices, etc – plus use the elevator – for at least a week following a power outage.
Heating and ventilation systems, and other important equipment, are installed far above street-level to lessen the risk of flood water ruining them. Furthermore, the copper cladding starts at 20 ft (6 m) so won't be submerged – and thus damaged – even during a serious flood.
The flood resiliency is just one part of the American Copper Buildings' aim to provide a luxurious living experience. Each tower is accessed by a grand lobby with 25 ft (7.6 m)-tall ceilings overlooking a landscaped park and fountain. The buildings are connected by a 100 ft (30 m)-long three-story sky bridge at a height of 300 ft (91 m), and this includes amenities like a 75 ft (22 m) lap pool and hot tub, resident's bar and lounge.
Residents also enjoy access to a rock-climbing wall, gym, Turkish bath with plunge pool, and a private spa. The East Tower is topped by an infinity-edge swimming pool with outdoor shower, plus sky bar and other facilities.
The American Copper Buildings are undergoing a phased opening and some of the 761 total residences are now occupied. Rent starts at US$3,200 per month for studios, one-bedroom residences fetch $4,500, rising to $6,650 per month for the two-bedroom residences. The largest three-bedroom residences and penthouses aren't yet complete.
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