Designed by Bjarke Ingels, the ‘Pyramid’ of 57th street is set to rise 467 feet to the top. While that’s still almost one-hundred feet shorter than the Pyramid of Giza, the new residential building will still be the tallest pyramidal structure in New York by a rather large margin.
Read more: How Bjarke Ingels Is Reinventing the New York Apartment BuildingRising between 57th Street and the West Side Highway, Justin Davidson reports that the structure was designed to “fuse two apparently incompatible types: a European-style, low-rise apartment block encircling a courtyard, and a Manhattan tower-on-a-podium, yielding something that looks like neither and behaves like both.”
If any area of Manhattan can serve as an empty canvas for experimentation, the far West Side definitely fits the bill. Devoid of most human life and currently occupied by old warehouses, the area along the West Side Highway from the 30s into the 50s is primed to undergo a major transformation over the next decade. While the ‘Pyramid’ will be one of the northern anchors for development–along with Extell’s Riverside South project between 59th and 61st streets–the Hudson Yards will revitalize the southern part of the neighborhood.
New York is no stranger to insane–or rather, ‘concept’–architecture, and even looking a few blocks south of the ‘Pyramid’ provides examples. Just a stone’s throw away, Mercedes House is also rising. Both new projects feature innovative ways of maximizing air and light for each apartment, although I would argue that Mercedes House accomplishes these goals in a more conventional and aesthetically pleasing manner.
|Image from urbanedgeny via Mercedes House NY|
Regardless, the project’s immediate neighborhood should continue to give rise to buildings that challenge the mold of the typical New York high-rise. While the design of the ‘Pyramid’ may be distasteful to some, New York’s spirit is and should always be about innovation. New York should certainly prove a fitting host for a concept with absolutely no precedent elsewhere in the world, and we can certainly hope that the ‘Pyramid’ proves to successfully accomplish Ingel’s stated goal of transforming urban living into something where humans do not necessarily have to lose touch with nature.