By Belinda Lanks on March 25th, 2015
Living next to a park is a treat in New York’s concrete jungle. But how about living under one?
A new superslim residential tower proposed for Midtown Manhattan will have built-in parks and even an outdoor cinema, among other common areas that its designers say will make it like a vertical West Village street.
Slated for 12 East 37th Street, the as-yet-unnamed tower will reach 700 feet—about half the height of New York’s tallest residential high-rise, the Rafael Viñoly-designed 432 Park Avenue which is set to open later this year. Residents at the 37th Street building will have access to five clusters of common amenities, which will also include a fitness room, an infinity pool and a private yoga studio. “You’re never really four or five floors away from a common space,” says Robert Goodwin, the New York design director at Perkins+Will, the architectural firm responsible for the project.
The property developer behind the tower, Turkey’s Nef, has built a brand around apartment buildings that balance petite living quarters with elaborate amenities, including common bedrooms that residents can reserve for out-of-town guests. “We tried to translate that for a New York City context,” Goodwin says.
He was helped by New York City zoning rules, which specify that skinny buildings with small footprints have virtually unlimited height restrictions. By going taller, he could slot 33-foot-high park pockets without reducing the number of apartments the tower could hold. The 65 apartments will range from 400-square-foot studios to 1,800-square-foot floor-throughs while the building itself will be roughly 50 feet wide and 54 feet deep.
Buildings with large height-to-width ratios require an efficient support structure to prevent them from swaying in the wind. To maximize inside space, the designers moved the structural system to the exterior perimeter and arranged it in a thin steel diagrid with a concrete core. Eliminating interior columns also gives the developer flexibility in how the units are laid out and reduces the thickness of the elevator core wall by roughly 50 percent. No ground-breaking date has been set yet, but construction is expected to be completed in 2017.