Manhattan West Tower, NYC mixed use development, Manhattan homes, New York City real estate images
Manhattan West Tower in New York City
January 31, 2024
Location: Manhattan, NY
Photos: Dave Burk © SOM and © Tayler Crothers of CTC Studios
Manhattan West Tower, NYC
The office tower is the final piece of Manhattan West, a mixed-use development decades in the making, which brings new life to a previously underdeveloped district over active railroad tracks.
Today, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and Brookfield Properties announce the completion of Two Manhattan West, a LEED Gold-targeting office tower located on the corner of Ninth Avenue and West 31st Street in New York City. The project brings two-million-square feet of new office space to Manhattan West––a development more than 40 years in the making that is built above active railroad tracks on the city’s West Side, where minimal buildable land existed before. The project represents an extraordinary achievement in urban design, structural engineering, and architecture with its vibrant mix of buildings and uses, over numerous active train tracks.
The completion marks the final chapter in the development of Manhattan West, a dynamic, seven-million-square-foot, mixed-use neighborhood developed by Brookfield Properties with a master plan by SOM as part of a larger revitalization of this area of New York City.
Two Manhattan West joins its counterpart, One Manhattan West, a tower completed in 2019, along with four other buildings––three designed by SOM and all but one engineered by SOM––that brings two acres of public space, offices, residences, hospitality, and retail to a previously undeveloped district. Together, this vibrant new destination forms the crucial missing link in a chain of pedestrian pathways that tie the West Side together from Penn Station to the Hudson River.
“Two Manhattan West marks the Ninth Avenue entry into the neighborhood,” said SOM Design Principal Kim Van Holsbeke. “Its curving profile offers an elegant addition to the city’s skyline, and together with One Manhattan West, announce the creation of a thriving new urban destination.”
One and Two Manhattan West stand as the development’s two largest towers. Both in the skyline and at grade, these two towers form the gateway into the development and the westbound expansion of the Midtown urban fabric. With high performance enclosures and gently curved corners, the pair expresses a monolithic simplicity and a dynamic presence in the skyline.
One Manhattan West, with a curvature to the east, welcomes pedestrian arrivals from Penn Station and Moynihan Train Hall, while Two Manhattan West orients north to Midtown. At grade level, glass enclosures appear to dissolve the boundary between the lobby and the surrounding public plaza.
“Building Two Manhattan West required a feat of extraordinary coordination among the design, engineering, and planning teams,” said SOM Partner Julia Murphy. “While Two Manhattan West’s presence in the sky and at grade is rigorous and clearly defined, its most dramatic complexities lie underground.”
The tower stands on extremely challenging sites above active rail lines and is supported by a central core–only half of which could touch down to solid ground. SOM aligned a series of sculpted mega-columns at the building’s perimeter with subgrade spaces between the tracks. Highly visible, these mega-columns express the strength of the tower’s structural system and announce the building’s complex structural solution.
“Through an integrated, multidisciplinary design approach between our architectural and engineering teams, said SOM Structural Engineering Principal Charles Besjak, “we expressed the technical structural solution in the design to create a delicate dialogue between the private lobbies and the public plaza.”
Complementing the office towers, the additional buildings at Manhattan West contain a range of uses and amenities to create a 24/7 neighborhood. Designed by SOM, the 23-story Pendry and the 62-story Eugene bring a luxury hotel and residences, respectively, to the site.
The development is further enhanced by the renovation of two former industrial buildings–Five Manhattan West (engineered by SOM and designed by REX), and Four Manhattan West–into premium office spaces.
The recently completed High Line-Moynihan Connector, designed by SOM and Field Operations, is a 600-foot linear park that expands the pedestrian pathway from Manhattan West to Hudson Yards.
“The public realm is the heart of the master plan,” said SOM Partner Ken Lewis. “The buildings are organized around a series of distinct plazas that invite diverse users to the development and form a vital pedestrian link between the Midtown business district, the Penn Station complex, and Hudson Yards.”
About Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) – https://www.som.com/ is a global practice of architects, designers, engineers, and planners, responsible for some of the world’s most technically and environmentally advanced buildings and significant public spaces. From a strategic regional plan to a single piece of furniture, SOM’s designs anticipate change in the way we live, work and communicate, and have brought lasting value to communities around the world. The firm’s approach is highly collaborative, and its interdisciplinary team is engaged in a wide range of international projects, with creative studios based across the globe. SOM is a carbon neutral business.
Photography: Dave Burk © SOM and © Tayler Crothers of CTC Studios
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