VIDEO: JDS Takes Us Behind the Construction of the American Copper Buildings’ Skybridge

Posted On Wed, June 1, 2016 By

Posted On Wed, June 1, 2016 By In Architecture, Murray Hill, New Developments, Starchitecture, Video

Aside from their “dancing” silhouette, what makes the SHoP-designed American Copper Buildings (named for the 5,000 metal panels that make up the facade) so unique is the three-story diagonal skybridge that connects the 470- and 540-foot towers. Floating 300 feet over the street at 626 First Avenue, it’s the city’s first major new skybridge in over 80 years and will be the highest such structure in New York when completed.

Though the bridge is no small feat—its steel trusses weigh over 421,000 pounds, it has 24 connection points, and it will be close to one million square feet—it all started with a single piece of string. In a new video from their “Building Know-How” series, JDS Development takes us behind the construction of this architectural wonder, sharing their approach


Building Know-How: Skybridge

Casey Gonzalez, superintendent at JDS, spent a year working in a bridge painting company and when the challenge of engineering the skybridge came up, he immediately thought about the rope bridges he previously worked with. And so the first step was to throw a piece of string from one building to another. From that they pulled a rope across, and from that a cable, then eight cables, next the decking, the bridge, the bridge trusses, and finally pour concrete. The first piece of steel alone was 34,000 pounds.

American Copper Buildings_Skybridge_JDS_2

American Copper Buildings_Skybridge_JDS_4

American Copper Buildings_Skybridge_JDS_1

JDS points out that not only is the skybridge visually appealing, but it’s functional, transferring the electric and condenser water from one building to another. It also “makes it a project, rather than two towers that happen to have a foot path between the two.”

626 First Avenue, JDS Development, SHoP Architects, East River development
The indoor lap pool

626 First Avenue, JDS Development, SHoP Architects, East River development
The gym

626 First Avenue, JDS Development, SHoP Architects, East River development
The lounge

The skybridge will be topped with private terraces and filled with amenities, including a 75-foot lap pool, residents’ lounge, and gym. The entire project will offer 761 rental units, 20 percent of which will be for low-income households. The development is slated for completion early next year. Find future listings for 626 First Avenue on CityRealty.

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