City blocks go vertical as Manhattan supertall nears completion
Taking up the physical footprint of an entire city block and rising to a height of 308 m (1,011 ft), Foster + Partners' 50 Hudson Yards recently topped out in Manhattan, New York City, with the ceremonial placing of its final steel beam. The supertall skyscraper is now well on the way to completion, with big-named firms including Facebook expected to move in by 2022.
As its name suggests, 50 Hudson Yards is another addition to the ongoing Hudson Yards mega-development that's remaking a sizable chunk of Manhattan. The development also includes Heatherwick Studios' eye-catching Vessel, KPF's vertigo-inducing 30 Hudson Yards, and more. Foster + Partners' tower will provide almost 3 million sq ft (roughly 280,000 sq m) of flexible office space and is envisioned as three blocks stacked on top of each other.
"The building is divided vertically into three sections, with the largest floorplates at the base," explains Foster + Partners. "It steps back to create two terrace levels on the upper floors, respectful of the city's urban grid and a characteristic feature of high-rise design in New York.
"The ground level lobbies feature two abstract sculptures by acclaimed artist Frank Stella, celebrating the incredible creative heritage of the city. As you rise to the top, the tower offers fantastic views of the Hudson River and the 'Vessel' to the west, and the Empire State Building and City skyline to the east."
Structurally, 50 Hudson Yards consists of a concrete core and glass facade – and it's a lot of concrete and glass. So far, 117,200 cubic yards (roughly 3,164,400 cubic ft) of concrete has been poured and 11,460 glass panels have been installed, along with 26,800 tons of structural steel. It's also only the second construction project in the United States to use a Despe self-climbing cocoon, which is a kind of protective cage that moves up and down the building to improve worker safety.
Once the skyscraper is finished sometime in 2022, Facebook, investment firm BlackRock and others will take their place on expansive floorplates that Foster + Partners describes as "buildings within a building" and can fit over 500 employees per floor. Workers will navigate the cavernous interior using 94 elevators.
It's also slated to receive the LEED Gold green building standard so we can expect it to include some energy-efficient measures like water recycling, though we've no word yet on exactly what this entails.