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
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.
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.”
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.
- SHoP’s East River Towers Named American Copper Buildings; Go Inside Their Skybridge
- SHoP’s Dancing East River Towers Top Out With Plenty of Flood-Proofing Below
- New Video Reveals How SHoP’s 626 First Avenue Will Dance into Midtown’s East River Skyline
Neighborhoods : Murray Hill