VIΛ 57 West, designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group for the Durst Organization, introduces a new typology to New York City: the Courtscraper. The 830 000 sq ft highrise combines the density of the American skyscraper with the communal space of the European courtyard, offering 709 residential units with a lush 22 000 sq ft garden at the heart of the building.
VIΛ occupies nearly a full city block at the corner of West 57th Street and the West Side Highway, with uninterrupted views towards the Hudson River Park and the waterfront. The Durst Organization commissioned BIG to design a building for the site in the spring of 2010, and construction commenced in 2011. The 32-story building has welcomed residents since May 2016 with the construction completing this Fall. Earlier this year, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) named VIΛ the Best Tall Building in the Americas as part of its 2016 Tall Buildings Award.
The VIΛ Courtscraper is a hybrid between the European perimeter block and the traditional American highrise. The building peaks at 450 feet at its north-east corner, thereby maximizing the number of apartments and graciously preserving the adjacent Helena Tower’s views of the river. VIΛ’s volume changes depending on the viewer’s vantage point. From the west, it is a hyperbolic paraboloid or a warped pyramid. From the east, the Courtscraper appears to be a slender spire.
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