Supertalls

Architecture, Major Developments, Midtown East

One Vanderbilt tower design

One of the city’s most pivotal new office towers is approaching its latest milestone. This afternoon, developer SL Green announced that One Vanderbilt, the supertall currently under construction directly adjacent to Grand Central Terminal, will begin its vertical ascent in early May. According to a press release, the 1,401-foot skyscraper’s construction manager, AECOM Tishman, has secured the procurement of more than 25,000 tons of domestically-fabricated structural steel, in addition to a New Building Permit from the New York City Department of Buildings.

more details here

Architecture, Design

Cloud Architecture Office, Analemma Tower, Asteroid Skyscraper

New York City-based design firm Clouds Architecture Office has proposed a conceptual skyscraper that would hang down from the sky suspended by air cables attached to an asteroid, making it the world’s tallest building. As dezeen learned, the supertall, dubbed Analemma Tower, would not be built on Earth but instead have a “space-based” foundation. Each day, the tower, which would be constructed over Dubai, would travel between the northern and southern hemispheres, with the slowest part of the tower’s trajectory occurring over New York City.

See the supertall renderings here

Construction Update, Midtown West, New Developments

Central Park Tower, Extell Developments, Midtown

West 58th Street elevation of Nordstom’s podium; CityRealty

When it reaches its projected 1,550-foot height, Extell Development’s Central Park Tower will have the highest roof-line of any residential building in the Western Hemisphere, besting the current record holder 432 Park. Though the $2.98 billion project won’t be complete until 2019, construction is moving ahead along Billionaires’ Row, reports CityRealty. The 58th Street side, which will hold a 285,000-square-foot, seven-story Nordstrom store, is currently receiving its fluted-glass skin, a “Waveforms Facade.”

See more views here

Architecture, Design, Midtown, Top Stories

Big Bend Rendering, Oiio

New York City Architecture firm Oiio has proposed a conceptual skyscraper that would curve at the top and then return to the ground, becoming what the firm believes to be the “longest” building to ever be created. As reported by dezeen, their “Big Bend” proposal challenges Manhattan’s obsession with supertall skyscrapers by substituting extreme height with length—stretching 4,000 feet from end to end. If they are able to design this building, Oiio hopes it could potentially provide a solution to the height limitations imposed by city zoning laws.

See the renderings here

Cool Listings, Midtown

If you’ve been as curious as we have to know what the inside of 432 Park looks like IRL, look no further than unit #52C, now for sale by owner. LLNYC spotted the listing today which boldly ditches professionally staged photos for somewhat sloppy phone snapshots of the interiors. As the mag points out, 432’s developers have been keen on putting the luxury tower’s best foot forward, revealing only sleek renderings or retouched images of impeccably outfitted model units to press and onlookers.

more inside here

Featured Story

Features, real estate trends

Health and high-rise living: Is higher healthier?

By Cait Etherington, Tue, January 24, 2017

manhattan at night, manhattan at night aerial view

In 2017, new high-rise developments will continue to define the city’s skyline. There are currently more than 30 high-rise developments under construction and proposed for the waterfront in Queens. In Manhattan, rezoning initiatives promise to bring more high-rise developments to neighborhoods from East Harlem, Two Bridges and Midtown East. And in Downtown Brooklyn, with the 2016 approval of the borough’s tallest tower and a slew of other skyscrapers wrapping construction, the height trend is also well underway. If high-rise developments are on the rise citywide, it is not a surprise. By building up, the City of New York is able to maximize available space and even diversify certain neighborhoods by creating mixed-income housing communities. At their best, high-rise developments can drive economic and social change, but are these buildings also good for our health?

more on high-rise living and health this way

Architecture, infographic

128 tall buildings were constructed in 2016, a world record

By Michelle Cohen, Tue, January 17, 2017

Tall Building Year in Review, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, CTBUH, supertalls, skyscrapers, 432 park avenue, warsaw spire, Ningbo, Bank of China, Guangzhou CTF, 432 Park Avenue

Click here to enlarge infographic

We’ve just been looking at the amazing growth of the skyscraper in its early years, and now ArchDaily informs us that 2016 was a record year for tall buildings throughout the world. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) announced in its 2016 Tall Building Year in Review that 128 buildings 200 meters/656 feet or higher were completed in 2016, beating the previous year’s record of 114 completions. Of those buildings, 18 nabbed the spot of tallest building in their respective city, country or region; 10 were classified as supertalls (300 meters/984 feet or higher). And it looks like we’re on a roll…

Find out where the supertalls are rising and what the future might hold

City Living, maps

nyc building shadows map

The Times calls the phenomenon a “struggle for light and air.” And indeed, while New York City architecture is lauded for both its design and innovation, the decades-long race to build bigger and taller has taken a toll on the cityscape, particularly in the form of shadows. While any recent criticism of the effect has been directed towards the towers rising along Billionaire’s Row, as The Upshot’s map reveals, New Yorkers on the whole spend a lot of their time cutting through long stretches of shadow. The map documents thousands of buildings across the five boroughs, denoting age, height and the resulting shadows cast at ground level over the course of one day, down to the minute, during all seasons. As seen above, tall-tower haven Central Park South is cloaked in darkness 24/7 during the fall, winter, spring and summer months—but then again, if you peruse the map, you’ll see a lot of other blocks are too.

find out more

Architecture, Construction Update, Major Developments, Midtown East, Urban Design

Yesterday 6sqft brought you a time-lapse video showing an entire Midtown block being demolished to make way for the 1,401-foot supertall One Vanderbilt. Now with a cleared site—plus $1.5 billion in construction financing secured—SL Green is ready to build anew, and Tuesday morning the developer held an official groundbreaking ceremony to mark the momentous occasion.

see more here

Featured Story

Features, History, Technology

Advances in engineering continue to push modern skyscrapers to dizzying new heights, but at the core of these structures, quite literally, is an often overlooked technology that’s been key to their proliferation: the elevator.

The earliest known reference to the elevator was by Roman architect Vitruvius, who reported that Archimedes built his first elevator around 236 B.C. The design was fairly rudimentary, a platform using pulleys and hoisted by hand or by animal. While elevators found their way into countless buildings and homes in the centuries that followed, including that of Louis XV who used a private lift to connect his Versailles apartment to that of his mistress, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that their true potential was unlocked.

read more about the elevator here

Architecture, Celebrities, CityRealty, infographic

Michael Phelps took his world record to 21 gold medals last night; Usain Bolt is poised to become the first athlete to win three golds at three Olympics; and Serena Williams (tied with sister Venus) has the most gold medals of any tennis player in the games. To have a little fun with these athletes’ stats, CityRealty.com put together this infographic that shows how long it would take the Olympians to sprint, serve, and swim their way to the top of New York City’s three tallest planned and built residential buildings — the Central Park Tower, 111 West 57th Street, and 432 Park Avenue.

Check out the full-size infographic here

Central Park South, Midtown, New Developments

A dozen supertalls (1,000 feet or higher) in the construction or planning stages in Manhattan include a significant number on the rise along the Billionaires’ Row strip just south of Central Park. This trend has been causing concern due to the shadows the looming towers will cast on the park.

Now, a slightly ominous time-lapse video from Cube Cities shows how Billionaires’ Row will have a sundial effect on the park (h/t Gothamist). The length and duration of the shadows will vary as the sun’s angle changes with the seasons; fall and winter days are looking dark, with the tall towers’ long shadows reaching as much as a mile into the park.

Watch the tall towers darken the park on a fall day in the future

Architecture, Chinatown, Lower East Side, New Developments, Rentals

247 cherry street

Back in April, the power team of JDS Development and SHoP Architects unveiled plans for a 900-foot, 77-story rental building at 247 Cherry Street in the Two Bridges area of the Lower East Side. This neighborhood has become controversial for a recent influx of sky-high development; 247 Cherry will rise directly next to Extell’s 850-foot One Manhattan Square and not far from two 50-story towers at 265-275 Cherry Street. Its 900-foot height would’ve made it the tallest tower between Midtown and Downtown, but left it 100 feet shy of the supertall status JDS and SHoP are known for (the duo is responsible for the 1,438-foot-tall 111 West 57th Street and 9 DeKalb Avenue, Brooklyn’s first 1,000+ foot tower). However, Bowery Boogie reports today that the height may actually be at or above 1,000 feet, rising 80 stories.

More details ahead

Financial District, New Developments

The new mixed-use tower to rise at 125 Greenwich Street will indeed be adding another supertall to the Financial District’s skyline. New renderings confirm a final height exceeding 1,000 feet, inching the tower above the the 977-foot 4 World Trade Center nearby at 150 Greenwich Street, according to YIMBY. 6sqft previously reported on the progress of the slender tower-to-be, designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects and developed by a joint venture comprised of Michael Shvo, Bizzi + Partners Development, and Howard Lorber’s Vector Group that will offer a limited collection of condominium residences with unparalleled views of the lower Manhattan skyline and beyond.

Check out the new renderings

condos, Midtown, New Developments, Starchitecture

central park tower, nordstrom tower, 217 west 57th street

A new set of images of the world’s upcoming tallest residential tower have been uncovered, these better revealing the cantilevering silhouette of the 1,550-foot supertall and how it will relate to the skyline of Central Park South.

The images of the Central Park Tower (née Nordstrom Tower) were first spotted by NY Yimby and are part of official EB-5 Immigrant Investor program materials posted online and provided by developer Extell. As such, they confirm that the supertall will indeed no longer have the spire, a feature which would have brought the tower to 1,775 feet and just a foot shy of One World Trade. The materials also reveal that the tower is being marketed with a height of 133 floors (the actual count is just 95, though some units like the 17,000-square-foot three-story penthouse have ceilings that stretch well beyond the standard) and 179 luxury residential units.

more here

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, Interviews, Technology

joseph gulden, desimone engineers

Could wood one day again be the material of choice for buildings? In response to rising construction costs and climate change, there’s been a resurgence of interest in wood construction, with some even saying that we’re in the beginnings of a “timber age.” Many architects, engineers and builders have started to embrace the material, having erected, or making plans to construct, high-rises that reach several hundred feet in the air. In fact, in April, one architecture firm proposed bringing a 1,000-foot timber tower to London’s Barbican. But is wood really a reliable alternative to concrete and steel? What about fire safety? And how tall can we really go at this point in time without compromising a building’s structural integrity?

To answer these questions and many more, 6sqft decided to pick the brain of DeSimone Project Manager Joseph Gulden. DeSimone is one of the world’s leading engineering firms with a roster of top NYC projects that include Zaha Hadid’s High Line project, 220 Central Park South and 45 East 22nd Street; Joseph himself is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) as well as a licensed Structural Engineer (SE) with extensive experience constructing in regions with high seismic risk. He’s also worked on numerous high-rises and tall wood structures both in the U.S. and abroad.

Ahead Joseph discusses some of the challenges and advantages of building with wood, engineered timber, deforestation concerns, and if a wooden supertall will ever be in reach.

read the interview here

Featured Story

Chelsea, condos, Construction Update, Features, Financial District, New Developments, Tribeca

Shvo projects, New York city development, NYC condos, Manhattan real estate

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal profiled broker-turned-developer Michael Shvo and revealed his development company SHVO now has more than $4 billion dollars worth of projects in the works for the city. While many are still in planning stages and have yet to be released to the public, construction is moving ahead on a trio of condominium developments along Manhattan’s western spine — the Getty, 125 Greenwich Street, and 565 Broome SoHo (as a development partner). While varied in neighborhood and scale, they all enlist high-caliber architects and will bring Shvo’s characteristic high level of attention to detail and “pursuit of perfection.”

Get the rundown on all three developments

Architecture, infographic, New Developments

nyc buildings compared to world buildings

Gray silhouettes from left to right: Shanghai World Financial Center, CTF Finance Centre, One WTC, Lotte World Tower, Mecca Royal Clock Tower, Shanghai Tower, Burj Khalifa. Click link here to enlarge >>

As the Skyscraper Museum so aptly writes, “Tall and BIG are not the same thing.”

Echoing 6sqft’s recent post on global supertalls, the infographic above illustrates how when the height of New York’s tallest towers are stacked up against the sky-high constructions abroad (and 1 WTC), our city’s skyscrapers truly are “runts on the world’s stage.” The image also reveals that not only do these towers lack significantly in height, but also in girth. This means what really makes the design of all of New York’s new skyscrapers so unique is not how tall they are, but rather, how slender they are.

more on all that here

Midtown, Starchitecture

Rafael Viñoly Apologizes for Dissing 432 Park

By Dana Schulz, Fri, May 13, 2016

432 Park Avenue, Rafael Vinoly

Image of Rafael Viñoly via Rafael Viñoly Architects Facebook page for Fall 2011/Winter 2012 issue of Pin-Up: Magazine for Architectural Entertainment

On Monday, the architecture world was gobbling up the comments starchitect Rafael Viñoly made about 432 Park Avenue at a Douglas Elliman talk last week. He admitted that the 1,400-foot supertall “has a couple of screw-ups,” referring to the interior design and layout, as well as the window framing, which he blamed on developer Harry Macklowe. But it looks like the architect is a bit red in the face, because he penned a lengthy public letter to design blog Dezeen apologizing for his loose lips.

“In the context of what we understood to be a private and off-the-record conversation, I expressed frustration, inartfully, about the consequences of my profession’s diminished position in the real estate development eco-system. Sometimes I get a little excited and say things that can easily be taken out of context and stripped of their humor. I have to improve,” he said.

Read more of his apology letter

Featured Story

Architecture, Carter Uncut, Features, Urban Design

Skyline Wars: Accounting for New York’s Stray Supertalls

By Carter B. Horsley, Wed, May 11, 2016

skyline strays

Carter Uncut brings New York City’s latest development news under the critical eye of resident architecture critic Carter B. Horsley. Ahead, Carter brings us his eighth installment of “Skyline Wars,” a series that examines the explosive and unprecedented supertall phenomenon that is transforming the city’s silhouette. In this post Carter looks at the “stray” supertalls rising in low slung neighborhoods.

Most of the city’s recent supertall developments have occurred in traditional high-rise commercial districts such as the Financial District, the Plaza District, downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City. Some are also sprouting in new districts such as the Hudson Yards in far West Midtown.

There are, however, some isolated “stray” supertalls that are rising up in relatively virgin tall territories, such as next to the Manhattan Bridge on the Lower East Side and Sutton Place.

read more from carter here

Midtown, Starchitecture

432 Park Avenue, DBOX, Macklowe Properties, Vinoly, Deborah Berke (52)

432 Park Avenue is the supertall that New Yorkers love to hate. From calling it the “oligarch’s erection” to spilling the beans about cracks in its facade, critics of the tallest residential building in the western hemisphere are quick to try to bring the tower down from its 1,400-foot pedestal. And strangely, its very own architect is the latest jump on the bandwagon.

The Post reports that Rafael Viñoly admitted at a Douglas Elliman talk last week that his creation “has a couple of screw-ups,” namely the window framing, which he blames on developer Harry Macklowe, and the tiny issue of “the interior design and layout.” (And The Real Deal has an entire roundup of zingers he delivered during the talk.)

Find out more this way

Architecture, Long Island City, New Developments

Court-Square-View

In February, Flushing-based developer Chris Jiashu Xu of United Construction & Development Group filed plans for a 79-story, 964-foot residential tower in Long Island City, giving it the title of would-be tallest tower in Queens. Dubbed Court Square City View Tower, it’s located just north of One Court Square (the borough’s current tallest building at 658 feet), but new information reveals that it will now steal the title by even more of a landslide.

The developer put in a request with the Federal Aviation Administration for a 984-foot-tall tower, sending it into supertall territory. And with its mechanical bulkhead, the structure will rise 1,000 feet.

The rest of the details

Architecture, Financial District, New Developments

80 south street tower

The sale of 80 South Street from Howard Hughes Corp. to China Oceanwide Holdings has been finalized, reports The Real Deal. The $390 million deal was first announced in August, but closing was contingent on Howard Hughes transferring an additional 303,113 square feet in air rights to the address after already securing 104,167 square feet. With this, 80 South Street’s development potential has grown to 817,784 square feet and a tower of 1,436 feet (to put this in perspective, 432 Park is 1,396 feet tall, while 1 WTC is 1,368 feet tall by roof height) with 113 floors could soon rise on the site which has sat in redevelopment limbo for over a decade.

more here

Construction Update, Financial District, Starchitecture

125 Greenwich Street, Shvo, Vinoly (1)

It’s been some time since 6sqft checked on 125 Greenwich Street, a slender tower that will soar more than 1,000 feet high and offer a limited collection of condominium residences with unparalleled views of the lower Manhattan skyline and beyond. Developed by a joint venture comprised of Michael Shvo, Bizzi + Partners Development, and Howard Lorber’s Vector Group, the 9,000-square-foot corner site will yield 275 compact residences spread over 306,000 square feet of space, along with a retail- and amenity-filled podium. Plans submitted to the Department of Buildings in October show that most of the building’s floor plates will house six apartments each.

Get a look at the current site

Architecture, Downtown Brooklyn, New Developments, Rentals

Joe Chetrit, Michael Stern, JDS Development, Dime Savings Bank, 340 Flatbush Avenue Extension, 9 DeKalb Avenue, tallest tower Brooklyn, SHoP Architects

About a month ago we were treated to a lone rendering of Brooklyn’s future tallest tower at 340 Flatbush Avenue Extension (now re-dubbed 9 DeKalb Avenue) that showed its full 1,066-foot height, towering against the rest of Downtown Brooklyn. Now, Curbed has spotted a full set of views, these showing more facade details and close ups of the building’s triangular base next to the historic Dime Savings Bank.

All the renderings ahead

Architecture, New Developments, Upper East Side

151 East 60th Street, Kohn Pedersen Fox, Subway Inn, NYC supertalls, Kuafu Properties, Upper East Side development

In October, 6sqft reported that a 1,000+ foot condo tower could rise on the former site of beloved dive bar the Subway Inn (which, after 77 years, had to relocate to a site around the corner in August 2014). The news came nearly two years after the World Wide Group bought a six-parcel assemblage on 60th Street between Third and Lexington Avenues. Then, this past summer, World Wide enlisted Cushman & Wakefield to sell the property, “using renderings of a glassy supertall tower and talk of nearby Billionaires Row to sweeten the deal.” Kuafu Properties bought the 19,685-square-foot plot for $300 million in the fall, and now Yimby has uncovered renderings of a glassy, slender tower proposed for the site.

Who designed the supertall tower?

Featured Story

Carter Uncut, Construction Update, Features, hudson yards, Major Developments, Midtown West, Starchitecture, Urban Design

hudson yards skyline

Carter Uncut brings New York City’s breaking development news under the critical eye of resident architecture critic Carter B. Horsley. This week Carter brings us the third installment of “Skyline Wars,” a series that examines the explosive and unprecedented supertall phenomenon that is transforming the city’s silhouette. In this post Carter zooms in on Hudson Yards.

The Hudson Yards neighborhood in Far Midtown West is one of the country’s most active construction areas. Construction cranes dot its emerging skyline and dozens more are promised now with the district’s improved connection to the rest of the city. Last fall, the 7-line subway station at Eleventh Avenue and 34th Street opened with one-stop access to Times Square. The newly-minted station features a lengthy diagonal escalator bringing commuters to the front-door of the huge mixed-use project being created over the rail yards west of Tenth Avenue between 30th and 33rd streets. Originally, a second station was contemplated on 41st Street and Tenth Avenue but transit officials claimed it could not afford the $500 million expenditure, despite the enormous amount of new residential construction occurring along the far West 42nd Street corridor.

Nevertheless, the finished Hudson Yards station deposits straphangers into a new diagonal boulevard and park between 10th and 11th Avenues that will ultimately stretch from the Related Companies / Oxford Property Group’s Hudson Yards master plan northward to 42nd Street.

read more from carter here

Architecture, Downtown Brooklyn, New Developments, Rentals

A little over a month ago, 6sqft learned that Brooklyn’s first 1,000+ foot tower, designed by SHoP Architects, would rise a whopping 1,066 feet, amounting to 556,164 square feet of total space. It all started back in 2014 when developers Michael Stern and Joe Chetrit purchased 340 Flatbush Avenue Extension (a five-story mid-century building that takes up about one third of the triangular site in Downtown Brooklyn) for $46 million with plans to demolish it. Then, in December, they closed on the adjacent Dime Savings Bank building for $90 million, providing 300,000 square feet of air rights needed to construct the 73-story tower.

Along with a new rendering, a piece today in the Times reveals some additional details, namely that the supertall will have nearly 500 rental units, at least 20 percent of which will be affordable under the city’s 421-a program. But there’s one issue that could make things a little complicated…

More on that, here

condos, Construction Update, Financial District, New Developments

Groundwork Begins at Downtown Supertall 45 Broad Street

By Ondel Hylton, Thu, February 11, 2016

NoBU, 45 Broad Street, adison Equities, Pizzarotti Group

Wasting no time getting started, Madison Equities and Italy-based Pizzarotti Group have begun soil testing at the site of their upcoming supertall tower 45 Broad Street. After 6sqft revealed a trio of preliminary renderings last month, Pizzarotti Group’s CEO Rance MacFarland told Curbed that the tower will stretch 1,100 feet high and have 86 floors. He also shared that it will contain 245 condo residences catering to “entry- and mid-level buyers.”

Get a look at the current site

Architecture, infographic, Urban Design

Graph: The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

Tall buildings help make cities great. Except when they don’t. Citylab looks at a new study and graphs that show where skyscrapers fit into what makes cities great–and suggests that the middle is where the magic happens.

2015 was a record year for the skyscraper; 106 tall buildings (higher than than 656 feet) went up across the globe, according to The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), more than in any previous year; emergent countries that appeared at the forefront of the global economic stage with the dawn the 21st century (China, Indonesia, UAE, Russia) show a big uptick in building upward. The majority of newly-built skyscrapers have risen in Asian nations—especially China–but the United States is in sixth place, with just two skyscrapers completed in 2015.

More infographics this way

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