Another architectural exclamation point in the new district of the Hudson Yards is the art project The Shed. In the Bloomberg Building, as The Shed is officially called, all disciplines of art mix. To combine all art movements under one roof, you need a very flexible shell. That's why you can move the building. One part of The Shed consists of a steel structure, that can be moved back and forth on rails. This allows to open or close the space below. The Shed sees itself primarily as a promoter of art, especially for young artists from New York. Nevertheless, the new district Hudson Yards tries to establish itself in New York. With The Vessel, the High Line and The Shed, public magnets have been created to enliven the new buildings around. The Shed was designed by the New York architects of Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The Shed was opened in 2019, construction cost was about 500 million US dollars.
The Hudson Yards is one of Manhattan's largest urban development projects. Since 2012, a new district has been built over a yard for commuter trains of the Long Island Rail Road. The train yard is still in use and the buildings had to be built on columns above the tracks. The project consists of 15 skyscrapers with offices and apartments, a mall and the function room The Shed. The sculpture Vessel was erected as a crowd puller on the site. The Hudson Yards are located on the eastern shore of the Hudson and at the northern end of the High Line. To develop the district, the subway line 7 was extended to the Hudson Yards. The skyscraper 30 Hudson Yards is the highest tower in the district soaring up 395 meters. The skyscraper designed by the architects Kohn Pedersen Fox has an outdoor observation deck. A triangular platform juts out of the tower and offers a spectacular view over the rooftops of New York. The district creates a new skyline between Midtown and Downtown Manhattan.
The residential tower of the Danish architect Bjarke Ingels BIG is located directly at the Hudson River. The 142 m high tower rises on a floor plan with a courtyard, as it is typical for European apartment blocks. In the vertical, the 750 housing units form a twisted pyramid that was punched out in the block interior. The curved facade made of aluminum panels, looms in the evening in the light of the setting sun. From New Jersey, the VIA 57 West is an eye-catcher in the Manhattan skyline. The residential tower with 34 floors and around 80,000 m² usable space was completed in 2016.
Other buildings by BIG:
The World Trade Center Station was destroyed by the collapse of the Twin Towers in 2001. The Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) is a subway line that connects Manhattan with New Jersey, the station is a transfer hub connecting to the New York Subway sytem. The new station opened in 2016 and was designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The cost of the building amounted to round about 4 billion US dollars, making it the most expensive train station in the world. The aboveground station hall is a white sculpture made of steel and glass, which lets light fall into the underground levels. In the middle of the roof is a narrow slit, which lets light shine into the hall at 10:29. This is the time that the North Tower of the WTC collapsed on September 11, 2001. For this reason, the building is not in the grid of the New York urban pattern. The eye "Oculus" commemorates the victims of this tragedy, but also looks to the future, and shows that the american people can overcome this catastrophe.
The station is used daily by around 300,000 people. The underground hall is much larger than the above-ground structure suggests. There are shops and restaurants, long corridors connecting the station with other buildings.
Buildings by Santiago Calatrava:
After the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, an architectural competition was awarded, which Daniel Libeskind won in 2002 with his 1776 feet high Freedom Tower. The building height refers to the year of the American Declaration of Independence. The Freedom Tower of Libeskind was not realized. Instead, David Childs of SOM got the contract for the One World Trade Center. Only the height of 1776 feet (541 m) was taken over, otherwise it is a completely different building. The design consists of a square with a second square rotated by 45 °. The sides of the lower square connect to the upper square. This creates beveled sides that look like an antiprism.
The actual office tower is 417 m high, like the destroyed north tower of the WTC. On top is a ring to which the suspensions cables of the antenna are attached. Due to the 124 m high antenna, the 1WTC is the tallest building in the USA. Previously, the antenna was not part of the building, which I think is correct. The Willis Tower in Chicago is 442 meters high without antenna, thereby higher than the One World Trade Center.
On the 100th floor is the viewing platform One World Observatory.
The Lever House is an icon of architectural history, it was the first Curtain Wall building in New York City. Mies van der Rohe had previously built the Lake Shore Drive Apartments in Chicago with steel skeleton construction and curtain wall facade. This construction quickly became the hallmark of modern architecture. The international style spread this method of construction around the world.
The Lever House was designed by Gordon Bunshaft, who designed the office tower for the architectural firm of SOM (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill). The client was the British company Lever Brothers now called Unilever.
Bunshaft designed a 94 m high tower, which grows from a horizontal base but seems to hover above. The plinth encloses the whole plot but is open in the middle. Here is a garden with a restaurant. The roof of the low-rise building is surrounded by a hedge, on top of the roof are trees. The skyscraper rises directly along Park Avenue, the tower is keeping a distance at 53 and 54 Streets, because at that time the Zoning Law was still in force, requiring setbacks. To avoid this, the tower was placed in the interior of the block.
The facade consists of aluminum profiles and green glass. In 1998, the façade was replaced but its appearance was not changed.
Other building by Gordon Bunshaft:
Hirshhorn Museum, Marine Midland Building
The Seagram Building looks like many modern office towers from the 1970s. The difference is that the Seagram Building was built as early as 1958 and thus is the mother of all these clones, although the UN headquarters and the Lever House were completed in 1952. The approximately 157 m high tower was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The Bauhaus teacher emigrated to the United States in 1938 because the Bauhaus in Dessau was closed by the Nazi Party. He went to Chicago, where he opened an architecture office and was teacher at the Armor Institute. The residential towers on Lake Shore Drive, which already bore the genes of the Seagram Building, were built in 1951. The Seagram Building was his first office tower that he built together with Philip Johnson, because he was not admitted in New York City.
Why is the Seagram Building so famous?
Mies van der Rohe is considered a pioneer of the International Styl, which is characterized by simple forms. The saying less is more by Mies van der Rohe is legendary. The Seagram Building is a rectangular box with a glass curtain wall facade. That means, the load-bearing structure is behind the facade. The vertical supports are concealed by horizontal bands of glass and metal. Buildings used to have a pedestal, a shaft and a top. This classic tripartite division only occurs in modern buildings for functional reasons. The entrance area is designed different from the office floors above and on the roof is the technology that requires no windows.
Through setbacks, skyscrapers rejuvenated to avoid obscuring other buildings. This was governed by the Zoning Resolution of 1916. The new towers of modern architecture circumvented this law by constructing a flat structure on one part of the site and a tower on the other. Mies van der Rohe left blank one part of the property and thereby created a public space. The Seagram Building eventually changed the law in 1961, since then a certain amount of usage space is allowed on each property, which increases when you create a public space.
Buildings by Mies van der Rohe:
The Guggenheim Museum in New York is probably the most famous building by Frank Lloyd Wright. The special thing about the Guggenheim is the way you walk through the exhibition, which leads downwards along a round ramp. This rounding also shapes the exterior appearance of the building. The large rotunda has a glass roof, which illuminates the interior. From the ramp you enter the individual exhibition rooms, the ramp itself also serves as an exhibition area. The museum's architecture is very dominant, some critics claiming that the building is stealing the show. In fact, the Guggenheim has become a monument, an icon of architecture.
The Guggenheim family from Philadelphia became wealthy through a mining monopoly. Salomon R. Guggenheim bought Modern Art from Europe and commissioned the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright to build a museum for his art collection. Non-Objective art, as the modern age was called at that time, was new. The Nazis condemned them as "degenerate art". When the museum opened in 1959, the artists were already famous, but the Salomon R. Guggenheim Museum played a key role in making this art known to the public.
Actually, the building should be called the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, but since Salomon R. Guggenheim died in 1949, the museum was named after its patron. Frank Llyod Wright also died before the opening of his masterpiece. The project had cost a lot of energy, and Hilla von Rebay, the museum's first director, made a big impact on the design. She had chosen Frank Lloyd Wright as an architect, was an artist herself, she chose material and color of the building.
The new part of the building, behind the two round structures, was built in 1992. The expansion was planned by the architect Gwathmey Siegel Kaufmann from New York. However, Frank Lloyd Wright had already designed the extension back then.
After John D. Rockefeller Jr. donated the land on the East River, planning began for the new UN headquarters in New York. The planning was carried out by an international team of architects led by Wallace Harrison from the USA. The "board of design" also included the Brazilian Oskar Niemeyer and the Swiss architect Le Corbusier, who together designed the secretariat building. The high-rise administration building on the East River is 155 m high and was the first skyscraper in New York with a curtain wall. The headquarters of the United Nations was completed in 1951. The property belongs to the United Nations and is not part of the United States. As a result, no national laws or building regulations apply here. During renovation in 2010, the facade was replaced, but retained its original appearance.
Buildings by Oskar Niemeyer:
Buildings by Le Corbusier:
The Pan Am Building was built in 1963 on top of the Grand Central Station. It was the administrative building of Pan American World Airways. The architecture of the 246 m high tower was designed by Walter Gropius, who fled from Germany to America in 1937. He worked as a professor at the Harvard University. Together with Pietro Belluschi and the architecture firm of Emery Roth & Sons, the Pan Am Building was constructed.
The office building with its octagonal shape is a reminiscent of the Pirelli Tower of Gio Ponti and Pier Luigi Nervi, built three years earlier in Milan. However, the Pan Am Building is higher and is divided by three horizontal glass bands. The structure is made of steel and the facade of glass and aluminum. The skyscraper characterizes the cityscape of New York because it stands in the flight of Park Avenue.
Pan Am was a transcontinental airline that had a monopoly on intercontinental flights. After the Airline Deregulation Act 1978, this monopoly was abolished and Pan Am had to face the national competition and perished in 1991. The Pan Am Building was sold in 1993 and is now called MetLife Building.
Buildings by Walter Gropius:
The residential tower by architect Frank O. Gehry is located between Spruce Street and Beekman Street. The official name of the structure is 8 Spruce Street. The skyscraper was built between 2006 and 2011. With a height of 267 meters and 76 floors, it is one of the tallest towers in southern Manhattan. The residential building can accommodate over 900 apartments.
The tower stands on a T-shaped floor plan, which is hardly recognizable due to the irregularly shaped aluminum façade and setbacks. Wild sheet metal facades are the trademark of Frank O. Gehry.
Other Gehry buildings:
The New Museum is a very special building designed by the Japanese architects of SANAA. Cubes of different heights and widths were stacked together to from a tower. Where there are setbacks there are roof terraces with views over the southern Manhattan. The nested building shell is held together by a uniform facade. The white painted cubes are overlaid by a mesh of anodised expanded aluminum. This net is also in front of glass surfaces, so the facade looks like a gray veil and the building looks uniform and elegant.
The interior does not require supports and offers large space, as the building core with elevators and staircase is not in the middle of the museum. The New Museum was opened in 2007.
Other buildings by SANAA
Architectural guide New York City
This architectural guide shows the most important buildings of contemporary and modern architecture. Buildings such as the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building or the Flatiron Building can be found under the section New York Sights.