2011
DURST FETNER RESIDENTIAL SELECTS BIG TO DESIGN 600-UNIT RESIDENTIAL BUILDING ON W57TH STREET

West 57th, designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, introduces an entirely new residential typology to New York City that will add an inviting twist to the Manhattan Skyline.

Durst Fetner Residential (DFR) today announced the design of West 57, a 600-unit 80/20 residential building on West 57th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues. The building is designed by renowned Danish Architect firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and is their in­augural North American project. The building’s program consists of over 600 residential units of different scales situated on a podium with a cultural and commercial program. The building will strive for LEED Gold Certification.

“It’s extraordinarily exciting to build a building whose architecture will attract visitors from around the globe,” said, Hal Fetner, CEO of Durst Fetner Residential. “BIG’s design is innovative, evocative and unique and the building’s beauty is matched only by its efficient and functional design that preserves existing view corridors while maximizing the new building’s access to natural light and views of the Hudson River. West 57th will establish a new standard for architectural excellence and its creative design, sustainable-construc tion and operations, breathtaking views and distinctive amenities will make it New York’s most sought after residential address.”

The building is a hybrid between the European perimeter block and a traditional Manhattan high-rise. West 57th has a unique shape which combines the advantages of both: the compactness and efficiency of a courtyard building providing density, a sense of inti macy and security, with the airiness and the expansive views of a skyscraper. By keeping three corners of the block low and lifting the north-east corner up towards its 467 ft peak, the courtyard opens views towards the Hudson River, bringing low western sun deep into the block and graciously preserving the adjacent Helena Tower’s views of the river.

“New York is rapidly becoming an increasingly green and livable city. The transformation of the Hudson River waterfront and the Highline into green parks, the ongoing effort to plant a million trees, the pedestrianization of Broadway and the creation of more miles of bicycle lanes than the entire city of my native Copenhagen are all evidence of urban oases appearing all over the city. With West 57th we attempt to continue this transformation into the heart of the city fabric – into the center of a city block,” Bjarke Ingels, Founder, BIG.

The form of the building shifts depending on the viewer’s vantage point. While appearing like a warped pyramid from the West-Side-
Highway, it turns into a slender spire from West 58th Street. The courtyard which is inspired by the classic Copenhagen urban oasis can be seen from the street and serves to extend the adjacent greenery of the Hudson River Park into the West 57th development.

“The building is conceived as a cross breed between the Copenhagen courtyard and the New York skyscraper. The communal intimacy of the central urban oasis meets the efficiency, density and panoramic views of the tall tower in a new hybrid typology. The courtyard is to architecture what Central Park is to urbanism: a giant green garden surrounded by a dense wall of spaces for living”, Bjarke Ingels, Founder, BIG.

The slope of the building allows for a transition in scale between the low-rise structures to the south and the high-rise residential towers to the north and west of the site. The highly visible sloping roof consists of a simple ruled surface perforated by terraces—each one unique and south-facing. The fishbone pattern of the walls are also reflected in its elevations. Every apartment gets a bay window or a balcony to amplify the benefits of the generous view and balconies which encourage interaction between residents and passers-by. DFR commissioned Copenhagen based BIG in the spring of 2010 to introduce a new residential typology to Manhattan. As of 2011 BIG has opened a new office in New York in order to oversee the development and upcoming construction of West 57th.

About Durst Fetner Residential
Durst Fetner Residential is a unique collaboration between two of the most respected commercial and residential development com­panies in New York City—The Durst Organization and Sidney Fetner Associates. The Organization develops, builds, owns and manages premiere properties throughout the New York metropolitan area that set new standards in environmental responsibility and user efficiency.

About BIG
BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, founded in 2005 by Bjarke Ingels, is an architectural office currently involved in a large number of projects throughout Europe, Asia and North America. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark and with a newly opened office in New York, USA the office is led by six Design Partners, including Bjarke Ingels, Andreas Klok Pedersen, Finn Norkjaer, Thomas Christoffersen, Jakob Lange, David Zahle and two Management Associate Partners, Sheela Maini Sogaard and Kai-Uwe Bergmann. BIG’s architecture emerges out of a careful analysis of how contemporary life constantly evolves and changes, not least due to the influence of multicultural ex change, global economic flows and communication technologies that together require new ways of architectural and urban organiza tion. In all our actions we try to move the focus from the little details to the BIG picture.

W57 DATA

PROJECT: West 57th Street
CLIENT: Durst Fetner Residential
ARCHITECT: BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group
SIZE: 870,000 ft² (80,000 m²)
LOCATION: Manhattan, New York, USA
STATUS: Direct Commission
COLLABORATORS: SLCE Architects (Architect of Record) , Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects, Thornton Tomasetti (Sturctural), Dagher Engineering(MEP), Langan Engineering (Civil), Hunter Roberts (Construction Manager), Philip Habib & Assoc. (Transportation), Israel Berger & Assoc. (Building Envelope), Nancy Packes (Marketing), Van Deusen & Assoc. (Vertical Transportation), Cerami & Assoc. (Acoustical), CPP (Wind), AKRF (Environmental), German Glessner (Renderings & Animation)

Partner in Charge: Bjarke Ingels
Project Leader: Beat Schenk
Project Architect: Sören Grünert
Team: Thomas Christoffersen, Celine Jeanne, Daniel Sundlin, Alessandro Ronfini, Aleksander Tokarz, Alessio Valmori, Alvaro Garcia Mendive, Felicia Guldberg, Gabrielle Nadeau, Ho Kyung Lee, Julian Liang, Julianne Gola, Lucian Racovitan, Marcela Martinez, Maria Nikolova, Minjae Kim, Mitesh Dixit, Nicklas Rasch, Riccardo Mariano, Stanley Lung, Steffan Heath, Thilani Rajarathna, Xu Li

For further information: Jordan Barowitz (DFR), Tel. +1.212.257.6605, [email protected]
Daria Pahhota (BIG), [email protected]

2011
BIG WINS THE COMPETITION TO DESIGN A MAJOR CULTURAL CENTER IN ALBANIA

BIG, Martha Schwartz Landscape, Buro Happold , Speirs & Major, Lutzenberger & Lutzenberger, and Global Cultural Asset Management are today announced as the winning team of the international design competition for a new 27.000 m2 cultural complex in Albania, consisting of a Mosque, an Islamic Centre, and a Museum of Religious Harmony.

The capital Tirana is undergoing an urban transformation which includes the restoration and refurbishment of existing buildings, the construction of a series of new public and private urban structures, and the complete reconceptualization of Scanderbeg Square. This important square is the site of the new cultural complex that will consist of a Mosque, an Islamic Centre, and a Museum of Religious Harmony.

Albania is the crossroads of three major religions: Orthodox Christianity; Catholicism; and Islam. With the recent completion of two new churches, all three religions will now have new places of worship in the heart of Tirana. The complex will not only serve the Muslim community of the city and surrounding areas, but will educate the public about Islamic values and serve as a beacon for religious tolerance.

BIG’s winning entry was selected out of five finalists, including Spanish Architect Andreas Perea Ortega, Architecture Studio from France, Dutch SeARCH and London-based Zaha Hadid.

”The winning proposal was chosen for its ability to create an inviting public space flexible enough to accommodate daily users and large religious events, while harmonically connecting with the Scanderbeg square, the city of Tirana and its citizens across different religions. Additionally the project shines through its beautiful garden surrounding the new Mosque and Center of Islamic Culture which symbolically features the rich vegetation described in Islamic literature. Finally the team’s awareness of the economic aspects of this important development will contribute to a successful realization of this project.” Mayor of Tirana, Edi Rama.

The buildings’ forms emerge from two intersecting axes and formal requirements: the city grid of Tirana which calls for the proper framing of the square and a coherent urban identity, and orientation of the Mosque’s main wall towards Mecca. BIG’s proposal incorporates Tirana’s grid by maintaining the street wall and eaves line, yet rotates the ground floor so both the Mosque and the plaza face the holy city of Islam. This transformation also opens up a series of plazas—two minor ones on the sides of the Mosque and a major plaza with a minaret in front—which are semi-covered and serve as an urban extension of the place of worship. By turning the mosque inside out and bringing the program and qualities of the Mosque to a public arena, the religion becomes inclusive and inviting, and the cool shaded urban space can be shared by all.

“This project is very significant for us for two reasons: Firstly it is a privilege to contribute to the ambitious rejuvenation of Tirana City – especially since it is happening not by the random accumulation of singular monuments – but rather in accordance with a careful and considerate holistic master plan. Secondly and perhaps most importantly –religious tolerance is one of our greatest challenges today– politically, culturally and even urbanistically. With the construction of the New Mosque of Tirana, The Islamic Center and The Museum of Religious Harmony – Tirana will reestablish the equilibrium by adding a mosque to the newly completed Orthodox and Catholic Cathedrals – making Tirana an example for the rest of the world as a global capital of religious harmony”, Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner of BIG.

The mosque can accommodate up to 1,000 people performing their daily prayers. Through the unique layout of courtyards and public space, the mosque can also expand to accommodate larger groups of 5,000 on Fridays and up to 10,000 on special holy days. The facade with the multitude of rational, rectangular windows finds its inspiration in Islamic mashrabiya screens, which provide shading and privacy while still allowing views out. The light qualities of the mosque will change dramatically throughout the day as the light washes across the curved facades.

“The alignment towards Mecca solves the dilemma inherent in the master plan – in its triangular layout the mosque was somehow tugged in the corner – now it sits at the end of the plaza – framed by its two neighbors. The resultant architecture evokes the curved domes and arches of traditional Islamic architecture – for both the mosque itself and the semi-domed spaces around it”, Thomas Christoffersen, Partner-in-Charge, BIG.

The design also includes The Quran Gardens containing all of the plants mentioned in the Quran in the same amount as the number of times they appear in the holy scripture.

INFORMATION

PROJECT “A Mosque for All” New Mosque, Islamic Cultural Center, and Museum of Religious Harmony
TYPE Invited Competition
CLIENT Municipality of Tirana, Albanian Muslim Community
COLLABORATORS Martha Schwartz Landscape, Buro Happold , Speirs & Major, Lutzenberger & Lutzenberger, and Global Cultural Asset Management
SIZE 27000 m2
LOCATION Tirana, Albania
STATUS 1st Prize
DATE May 2nd 2011

Partner-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen
Project Leader: Leon Rost
Project Team: Marcella Martinez, Se Yoon Park, Alessandro Ronfini, Daniel Kidd, Julian Nin Liang, Erick Kristanto, Ho Kyung Lee

For further information and high resolution images: Daria Pahhota, +45 2510 4466, [email protected]

For further information regarding the competition: http://www.tirana.gov.al/

For an animation of our proposal please link to: http://vimeo.com/23222675