When Douglas Durst began deciding, yet again, what to do with the almost block-long property he owns at 57th Street and the Hudson River, City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden urged the developer to think big. A high-tech data center, a school and a hotel had all fallen through, so Mr. Durst had fallen back on that most reliable form of New York City development: housing.
Ms. Burden wanted something iconic, especially for a project on such a prominent street at such a prominent location right on the waterfront. With Hudson River Park right there, it ought to be iconic. Mr. Durst delivered something BIG indeed, hiring the Danish wunderkinds at Bjarke Ingles Group to design his project.
Yesterday, Ms. Burden got to put her official stamp on the project, when she and the rest of the City Planning Commission approved Durst/Fetner’s BIG pyramid.
“My own feeling, and the feeling of board, is that we’d like this project to succeed,” J.D. Nolan, chair of Community Board 4’s land-use committee, told The Observer. “The Dursts are great developers, and they have worked very well with us in the past. Nevertheless, this is a rezoning, and the public should benefit as well as the developer.”
And so, the full board voted unanimously against Durst Fenter’s new apartment building on the far West Side last night. One of the most dynamic designs of the decade, 625 West 57th Street calls for a swooping white pyramid that rises dramatically up from the Hudson like an origami dove taking flight. Designed by Danish wunderkinds Bjarke Ingels Group (aka BIG), the project has even decided to eschew LEED ratings in its quest for singularity.
One of the big surprises to come along since the boom has been Durst Fetner’s new apartment building planned for the end of West 57th Street. The pyramidal structure designed by the Danish wunderkind Bjarke Ingels Group, aka BIG, is the kind of ambitious creation that was supposed to have died during the decadent days of the last decade. (We may actually start to see more of the exquisite as the super-high-end continues to out-perform every other housing sector in the city.)
Within the BIG surprise was hidden a smaller one, revealed in planning documents filed when the project was approved two weeks ago, dubbed Development Site 2. Plans call for a 110-unit apartment building that backs onto the pyramid apartments, though it is unlikely it will be built in that form, if at all. Instead, it is a zoning technicality.
Curbed stumbled on Durst Fetner’s closely watched site on West 57th Street and the Hudson, and our blogging comrades discovered that excavation is underway at the site. The Observer has been eagerly awaiting a groundbreaking ceremony, set to coincide with the developers filing for a rezoning to transform the site from a bland four-story box into the dramatic pyramid apartments designed by Danish wunderkind Bjarke Ingels. It appears Durst Fetner is going the quiet route for the time being on the project known as West 57.
Big Pointy Teeth
It may just be the most awaited project of the year, and by next year, it will begin to become a reality. West 57, the high-design ziggurat created by the cheeky Bjarke Ingels Group for Durst Fetner, is set to break ground as early as March. That is what Bjarke Ingels let slip at the ASAP party Monday night.
During a presentation of his playful projects—the plaza of many countries, the trash-to-power plant that blows smoke rings—atop the Standard, when Mr. Ingels got to the slides on West 57, he declared very excitedly, “Starting in March, this very exciting project will begin to take shape just a few miles from here.”
So the architecture critics love Bjarke Ingels’ new plan for a hulking Hell’s Kitchen development, but what about the neighbors?
Durst Fetner Residential brought their idea for the pyramid-like 57th Street apartment complex to Community Board 4 last night to a mixture of adoring fans and skeptical residents.
The project, first immortalized in Read More
Back when we first got a glimpse of Dutch architect Bjarke Ingel’s new apartment project for Durst Fetner, it immediately became the most exciting new project in at least a generation. Though seen only in comic-book form and as a fleeting still from a flythrough video (see below), the building at 57th Street Read More
Last week came the news that the Durst Organization was working on its project at 57th Street and the West Side highway once again, even if the work was simply an as-of-right filing to keep the project eligible for brownfield tax credits. Then on Monday came the crazy cartoonish news that what was Read More
As The Observer suspected, the Durst Organization is working on a residential project for the site it owns on West 57th Street next to the West Side Highway. What we never could have fathomed is that the project had been hiding in plain site–as part of a Web comic.
Curbed Read More