With the installation of its first steel column, One Vanderbilt, soon to be New York City’s second-tallest skyscraper, officially began vertical construction on Friday. Banker Steel Company provided the 26,000 tons of domestically milled and fabricated structural steel for development, which included the first 20-ton column installed. According to the team, the construction of One Vanderbilt is three weeks ahead of schedule. SL Green Realty and AECOM Tishman say the supertall skyscraper will add to the modernization of East Midtown’s business district, as the office building will boast column-free floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, and 360-degree views.
As more and more people move to the Big Apple, the city is running out of room to house all of them. According to Mark Ginsberg of Curtis & Ginsberg Architects, even if the city were developed to the maximum capacity legally allowed, this would still only be enough room to house 9.5 million New Yorkers. Building up every square foot that has been zoned for development is impossible and the city’s population is projected to pass 9 million by 2040. At a real estate conference hosted by Crain’s last week architects from five different firms laid out their plan to serve the city’s swelling population and each focused on a specific borough.
With New York City’s population on its way to nine million, the city’s infrastructure may be impressive, but it has its limits–including red tape and resource shortages–that will make it difficult to withstand the projected surge. Reminding us of the transformative innovations of Robert Moses–he of the big ideas and ego to match–Crains invited 12 firms who make their living wrangling infrastructure to hit us with some big ideas. Ahead of the upcoming summit, “Getting Ready for 9 Million New Yorkers,” they’ve shared these visions for future (bigger, better) New York from top architects, designers and real estate experts. Ideas include some that have already proven themselves (repurposing existing track beds) and some already in the works (Bushwick’s Rheingold brewery project) to others that Robert Moses might not love (shrinking the city’s highways).
On Tuesday, an agreement was reached between West Side elected officials and the Port Authority that said the agency would expand the planning process for a new $10 billion bus terminal with more local input. And just today they’ve revealed the five proposals that were submitted to a design competition to replace the currently loathed site. Crain’s brings us videos of the ideas, which come from big-name firms Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, Arcadis, AECOM in partnership with Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Perkins Eastman, and Archilier Architecture Consortium. Though this seems counter to the agreement, John Degnan, the Port Authority’s New Jersey-appointed chairman, said he doubts “any one of them will be the final design,” since they either further complicate existing planning issues or cost billions over budget.
What do you get when you cross the new-waterfront nature of Battery Park City with the previous underutilization of Hudson Yards, and throw in a little Brooklyn? This massive proposal from big-time construction and engineering firm AECOM that would turn a huge section of the Red Hook waterfront into a residential mega-development with more than 12 towers, 45,000 units of housing (25 percent of which would be affordable), an extension of the 1 train, acres of parkland, and “waterfront-flood protections that would revitalize and protect the low-lying neighborhood from storms and future sea-level rise,” as Crain’s first reported.
AECOM is presenting the idea today at the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation. They’ve already admitted that it “lacks key details” like hard costs, but they do estimate that one of their scenarios could generate $130 million in revenue for the city. The sites in question are the 80-acre Red Hook Container Terminal owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a similarly sized parcel along Columbia Street overlooking the Gowanus Bay that’s owned by the city, and unused land at the Red Hook Houses. Under their plan, the sale or lease of land to developers, would fund the aforementioned infrastructure projects.
Earlier this week, the six finalists in the “Reimagine a New York City Icon” competition were announced (h/t NY Yimby). The competition to reimagine the MetLife Building, sponsored by Metals in Construction magazine and the Ornamental Metal Institute of New York, isn’t part of any real-life plans for the iconic Midtown tower, but when great minds get to this kind of imagining, great ideas are born. Architects and engineers were asked to “reimagine 200 Park Avenue with a resource-conserving, eco-friendly enclosure—one that creates a highly efficient envelope with the lightness and transparency sought by today’s office workforce—while preserving and enhancing the aesthetic of the building’s heritage.”
Designed by Emery Roth & Sons, Pietro Belluschi, and Walter Gropius, the 59-story MetLife Building, located to the north of Grand Central Terminal, opened in 1963 as the Pan Am Building. MetLife bought the building in 1981, and though they sold it in 2005, the architectural icon keeps their name. Below are the finalists’ descriptions and renderings for the tower’s eco-friendly future.