There’s a surprise in store for residents of the Upper West Side, as renderings of 170 Amsterdam Avenue have been posted on-site; while the tower will only rise twenty floors, the design is of a stellar caliber, and will be notable for its uniqueness. The tower is located on Amsterdam Avenue between 66th and 68th Street, and the design will take full advantage of the development’s extensive street-frontage. Per DOB permits, Handel Architects designed the project.
Clues to the design were evident in the last construction update, where the external concrete pillars were already visible, but the rendering confirms the pillars will be a defining element of the development, and a stand-out feature overall. Visible supports and bracing are uncommon in New York City, especially on the scale of 170 Amsterdam Avenue; indeed, the columns will be very prominent, tapering up the building’s sides like enormous sticks of bamboo.
Developed by Sam Zell of Equity Residential, 170 Amsterdam Avenue will hold a total of 235 units, and rise 185 feet. Most new development on the Upper West Side is aesthetically adequate, with an overarching theme of staid contextuality; 170 Amsterdam proves that breaking the mold is an occasional necessity, and the project will do so in a big way. Innovative architecture is a rarity in the neighborhood, and a project that can translate forward-thinking design into a human-scaled and attractive final product is even harder to find. Early indications are that 170 Amsterdam will achieve both goals, and while iconic status may be a stretch given its size, the new renderings are a shockingly pleasant surprise.