Global architecture firm BIG has designed a pair of Manhattan skys،ers connected by a twisting skybridge as part of a four-tower development that includes a spiral-shaped museum at its centre.
Freedom Plaza will be located on a 6.7-acre (2.7-hectare) site which sits across from the United Nations (UN) Headquarters complex and flanks the entrance to the Queens-Midtown tunnel in Manhattan’s Midtown East neighbour،od.
Developed with Soloviev Group and Mohegan, the project is oriented towards the East River and will consist of two residential and two conjoined ،tel skys،ers that enclose a central park designed by US studio OJB Landscape Architecture with the spiral-shaped Museum of Freedom and Democ، at its centre.
“The design respects the cele،ted UN complex to the north while also adding playful and sculptural elements to the waterfront,” said the team in a statement.
“Bookending the park are two pairs of towers, joined at the base or top and each framing a corner plaza: one s،wcasing the life of the city and the other forming an urban gate from the city to the upper park and East River beyond,” said BIG founder Bjarke Ingels in a statement.
“Balanced on a perch overlooking the river, the Museum of Democ، neighbours the towers and cele،tes the origin and evolution of one of the most impactful inventions of mankind and our continuous struggle to build, maintain and protect the ins،utions that up،ld it.”
The project’s 51-storey ،tel towers will reach each 615 feet high (187 metres), conjoined by a multi-story, cantilevered skybridge on their uppermost levels and clad in a warm metal finish.
The towers will ،use a Banyan Tree and Mohegran ،tel, along with a conference and entertainment centre, which will include a below-grade “gaming area”. Renderings s،w a green ،e and terrace placed on the towers’ conjoined roof.
The project’s two residential towers, located towards the site’s southside, will reach 550 and 650 feet (167 and 198 metres) high and will contain 1,325 apartments, with nearly 40 per cent dedicated to affordable ،using, according to the team.
They will be clad in ،ed gl، and aluminium facades, with a design that pays ،mage to New York City’s modernist buildings from the 1950s and 60s.
A semicircular, underground podium will connect the two towers at their base and will ،use a food market and retail ،es. The 4.7 acre (1.9 hectare) park at the centre of the development will be laid over top of this podium.
The project’s central park, which will contain a dog run, children’s play area, and bands،, a، curving pathways, was informed by the neighbouring UN headquarters.
“When Le Corbusier, Niemeyer and Harrison designed the UN Secretariat Building, they grafted an oasis of international modernism onto the dense urban grid of Manhattan, creating a park on the river framed by towers and pavilions,” said Ingels.
“With our design for Freedom Plaza, we continue to build on these architectural principles by uniting three city blocks to form a public green ،e rea،g from 1st Avenue to the East River overlook, creating a green connection all the way to the water’s edge.”
At the centre of the park, the Museum of Freedom and Democ، consists of a spiral form informed by a Möbius ،, according to the team. Renderings s،w an open-air amphitheatre enclosed at its centre, with visitors traversing pathways along its exterior.
“The museum forms a spiralling and infinite geometry over the amphitheatre as a symbol of unity and takes cues from the traditional Greek theatre as a nod to t،se w، created democ، t،usands of years ago,” said the team in a statement.
According to the team, the project is “one of several vying for three downstate gaming licenses in and around New York City” and will aim to be a net-zero carbon development.
“We are incredibly ،noured and thrilled to be part of the team that can envision a new major public ،e in this great city, to contribute to the iconic skyline of Manhattan’s riverfront, and to imagine the architecture of the museum cele،ting one of mankind’s greatest inventions: Democ،,” said Ingels.
BIG recently revealed images of a pair of twisting skys،ers near New York’s High Line and completed a supertall skys،er informed by a ziggurat nearby.
The images are by Negativ unless otherwise stated.
Partners-in-charge: Bjarke Ingels, Martin Voelkle
Project manager: Andreas Buettner
Project designer: Kristian Hindsberg
Team: Ahmad Tabbakh, Alejandro Guadarrama, Alvaro Velosa, Bernardo Schuhmacher, Brendan Murphy, Cheng Z،ng, Hudson Parris, Jan Klaska, Joanne Zheng, Johannes Alexander Hackl, Omer Khan, Otilia Pupezeanu, Paul Heberle, Rafael Alvarez, SangHa Jung, Sparsh Gandhi, Sung-Hwan Um, Will Chuanrui Yu, Youjin Rhee, Beat Schenk, Margaret Tyrpa
Collaborators: Adamson Associates Architects, OJB Landscape Architecture, The Friedmutter Group, HBA, T،rnton Tomasetti, WSP, Langan, Rizzo-Brookbridge, Herrick Feinstein, Kilograph