Bjarke Ingels Group in NYC: The Love Affair Continues

David Plick — 

VIA West 57Yesterday, Bjarke Ingels Group, aka BIG, unveiled its design plans for “The Spiral,” a 2,850,000 square feet, 65 story mixed-use tower on the western edge of Manhattan in the newly revitalized Hudson Yards District in Midtown. As captivating as The Spiral is, it is just one of many projects solidifying the tremendous presence of Bjarke Ingels Group in NYC.

Why is it called “The Spiral”? Because the building features a series of twisting and turning verandas and gardens which spiral down the building, simultaneously giving the structure the effect of fluid motion, and also its inhabitants outdoor recreational space and gorgeous scenic views. The project’s client is Tishman Speyer, the same company that owns Rockefeller Center.

The announcement of “The Spiral” comes as no surprise to New Yorkers and architectural enthusiasts around the world. The presence of Bjarke Ingels Group in NYC is well known, due to their courageous modern designs, which evolve the city’s landscape everyday with every fascinating project they take on.

Here’s a quick peek on how this Danish mastermind is taking on The Big Apple:

VIA 57WEST

Status: Under Construction

That’s the building in the photo accompanying this article. Part pyramid, part spaceship, this residential building is a tetrahedron that lives at 57th street along the West Side Highway. Its design is not only revolutionary, employing cutting-edge structural design techniques to create its funky shape, it also adds to the quality of life of its residents because every window has a beautiful view of the Hudson River (and New Jersey . . .). Most importantly though, the space that is created at the tetrahedron’s center—the VIA Garden—is an open, green courtyard facing the Hudson River, with breathtaking views giving you the feeling of privacy while still knowing you’re in the big city.

2 World Trade Center

Status: In Progress

Perhaps you’ve heard of this one—this is a building that sits amongst a collection of other WTC towers known as the World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan’s Financial District.

Here’s how this happened: 

After James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s son, didn’t like Lord Norman Foster’s design for WTC2, they handed the reigns (and the already built foundation) over to BIG.

But what’s going on now?

Plans are stalled because the tenants, 21st Century Fox and News Corp, bailed due to high costs. But BIG’s design, with Ingels’ signature stacking boxes and all, still prevails.

BIG♥NYC

Status: Completed

Here, BIG shows that they can not only go small, but they can also have a lot of heart, with their homage to the I♥NY campaign. This 10-foot brightly glowing sculpture was commissioned by the Times Square Alliance, and uses the “natural light” that already bounces around this cultural epicenter to further brighten its 400 translucent LED powered glass rods. It lived in Times Square during Valentine’s Day, 2012, and if people joined hands, the heart beat faster.

The Dryline

Status: In Progress

This is where BIG shows their drive for sustainable urban living. Commissioned by the US Department of Urban Housing and Development after the disastrous effects of Hurricane Sandy, this waterfront park is designed to prevent flooding in all climates, and stretches 10 miles from West 54th Street down to the Financial District, across the island, and back up to East 40th Street. Bjarke Ingels called The Dryline “the love-child of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs.”

NYPD 40th Precinct

Status: In Progress

Imagine humming, “Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do . . . ” as you walk into a modern, Brutalism-influenced police station, something that is a stunning combination of strength, efficiency, and beauty. That’s going to be the NYPD’s 40th Precinct located in the Melrose neighborhood in the South Bronx, a place synonymous with toughness, but which also shows BIG’s reach into the Outer Boroughs, that his designs aren’t only for Manhattan’s elite.

The building is an assortment of concrete boxes stacked, a simple minimalist approach with a striking effect. Let’s just hope that when we go there it’s as visitors, and not in cuffs from NYC’s Finest. “Bad boys, bad boys . . .”

By: David Plick

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