Architecture

BIG's gleaming "courtscraper" completed in Manhattan

BIG's gleaming "courtscraper" ...
Via 57 West is just the latest in a series of US-based projects by the Bjarke Ingels-led firm
Via 57 West is just the latest in a series of US-based projects by the Bjarke Ingels-led firm
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The tetrahedral building rises to a height of 450 ft (137 m) over the Hudson River
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The tetrahedral building rises to a height of 450 ft (137 m) over the Hudson River
Via 57 West is just the latest in a series of US-based projects by the Bjarke Ingels-led firm
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Via 57 West is just the latest in a series of US-based projects by the Bjarke Ingels-led firm
The building features some 7,7202 sq m (830,995 sq ft) of floorspace, split between 709 apartments
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The building features some 7,7202 sq m (830,995 sq ft) of floorspace, split between 709 apartments
Residents have actually been arriving in the building since May, though the building only officially opened last week
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Residents have actually been arriving in the building since May, though the building only officially opened last week
Inside, the decor is described as "Scandimerican" (think Scandi-chic but with local materials)
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Inside, the decor is described as "Scandimerican" (think Scandi-chic but with local materials)
Amenities include a pool table, reading rooms, gym, and party rooms
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Amenities include a pool table, reading rooms, gym, and party rooms
LED lighting was installed throughout
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LED lighting was installed throughout
Via 57 West is an unusual mashup of skyscraper and European-style perimeter housing block – dubbed "courtscraper"
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Via 57 West is an unusual mashup of skyscraper and European-style perimeter housing block – dubbed "courtscraper"
You might think that the courtyard would get no light, but the firm says that thanks to Via 57 West's unusual pyramid-like shape, guests can enjoy plenty of daylight
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You might think that the courtyard would get no light, but the firm says that thanks to Via 57 West's unusual pyramid-like shape, guests can enjoy plenty of daylight
The building is a real landmark for NYC
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The building is a real landmark for NYC
The building features some 7,7202 sq m (830,995 sq ft) of floorspace, split between 709 apartments
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The building features some 7,7202 sq m (830,995 sq ft) of floorspace, split between 709 apartments

From one angle it resembles a pyramid, from another the sail of a massive ship voyaging down the Hudson River. Needless to say, BIG's 450 ft (137 m)-tall Via 57 West stands out even in a city with its fair share of impressive high-rises.

The 32-story tetrahedral building was developed by Durst Organization and takes up almost an entire city block in Manhattan. Primarily residential, its design can be seen as a melding of a skyscraper and a European housing block with central courtyard, hence its wacky "courtscraper" moniker.

The courtyard itself is landscaped by Starr Whitehouse and features the exact same proportions as Central Park, except it's one 13,000th the size. Thanks to Via 57 West's unusual shape, this green space will receive sunlight and offer an enviable view of the Hudson.

"By keeping three corners of the block low and lifting the north-east corner up towards its 450 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," explains BIG.

You might think that the courtyard would get no light, but the firm says that thanks to Via 57 West's unusual pyramid-like shape, guests can enjoy plenty of daylight
You might think that the courtyard would get no light, but the firm says that thanks to Via 57 West's unusual pyramid-like shape, guests can enjoy plenty of daylight

Though only just officially completed, residents have been steadily moving in since May and enjoying amenities that include outdoor activity areas, a pool room, gym, spa, golf simulator, and the like.

Inside, the decor is described as "Scandimerican" (think Scandi-chic with local materials), and includes oak wood floors and cabinets, white porcelain tiles in the bathrooms, and large bay windows opening up onto the river view.

Via 57 West is just the latest in a series of US-based projects by the Bjarke Ingels-led firm, including a police station, twisting skyscraper, and Two World Trade Center design.

Source: BIG

5 comments
Milton
a park that never gets any sun.
VincentWolf
A park that's shade tolerant.
Grunchy
From the overhead pic, just from rough eyeball estimation, it looks like 8 parking spaces wide x 17 parking spaces long. But they fit 709 apartments in there, wow that's pretty good! I suppose that's a lot less than is possible with a rectangular apartment block. My neighborhood block has probably a bigger land area, but only 50 or so houses in that. But everybody gets a big yard, most get a garage. I guess in New York you pretty much have to ride the taxi or walk, I don't know if cycling is realistic. Last winter I finally got to explore the upper floors at Luxor in Las Vegas, that's somewhat similar to this building. It's kind of too bad they didn't copy that layout. The vast courtyard inside the Luxor is nice because it's enclosed, so it's pleasant even in the middle of winter, and the middle of summer.
Timelord
Grunchy, the fact of the matter is that NYC has one of the great mass transit systems in the world, including the largest subway system in the US, providing almost six million rides per day over more than 650 miles of track 24/7/365, plus buses. Most of us don't need cars. And yes, cycling is realistic, as evidenced by a very popular bikeshare system, Citi Bike, which just recently announced ridership of over 60,000 per day. Not everyone wants to live the life of sanitized sprawl in suburbia.
CAVUMark
@timelord - if studio rent is $4100/month I need to make almost $200k/yr to afford this place. Are there adequate jobs at $200k for all those New Yorkers? I would enjoy living in NY for a while but I think I'll keep my paid-for condo in San Diego and enjoy my (distant) ocean view.