Shane Ferro
Architecture & Design News

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Bjarke Ingels’s West 57 Pyramid Approved for Development

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By a unanimous vote, Bjarke Ingels’s West 57th Street pyramidal high-rise won its final approval from New York’s City Council on Wednesday, though not before local officials put up a fight in the name of community betterment and affordable housing. In the end, the developers at Durst Fetner Residential had only to make a few small changes to the one-block-wide scheme, which will affect the pockets of the developers more than the form of Ingel’s much hyped-over design.

As Crain’s reports, 173 out of a total of 850 units (including 100 in a neighboring former industrial building) will qualify as affordable housing and remain so for 35 years. This in itself seemed like a weak victory for the community until Durst Fetner offered an additional $1 million to contribute to an affordable housing fund.

As for aesthetics, the proposal had originally left the building’s 58th Street facade, which will conceal the bulk of the structure’s mechanical systems, relatively undecorated, but thanks to the close scrutiny of community officials, the bare facade — presumably not pictured in Bjarke’s spectacular renderings — was not overlooked. Following Wednesday’s discussion, it will be enhanced with artwork or greenery to make for a more pleasant street-level experience.

Image courtesy the architects.

- Kelly Chan

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