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Via 57 West

VIA 57 WEST, the anchor of the 57 WEST residential block, provides a dramatic visual gateway to Manhattan’s skyline along the Hudson River. The first project designed in North America by the Danish Architecture firm BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, VIA 57 WEST offers residents a compelling mix of 709 rental residences, an unsurpassed selection of resident amenities and 45,000 square feet of retail space.

Via-57-West-By-BIG-Bjarke-Ingels-Group-02-Iwan-Baan-759x506 Via 57 West / BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group

© Iwan Baan

44 story, sloped building structure located on a site between 57th and 58th streets along 12th Avenue in New York City. The triangular shape optimizes the number of units with views of the Hudson river while preserving the adjacent Helena tower’s line of site. The residential building contains 709 units, twenty percent of which are reserved for affordable housing.

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© Iwan Baan

The courtyard design takes advantage of the site’s exposure to sun, air, and views to create a range of spaces: social and private, open and secluded, active and passive. At the eastern end of the courtyard, a winding path through a birch garden with ferns and moss creates a sense of immersion in nature. Activity areas in the center of the courtyard provide space for yoga practice or children’s play on a lawn enveloped in a woodland clearing with places to sit. On the west side a sunbathing lawn and steps overlook the Hudson River. The courtyard serves both as activity space and focal point, forming an element of visual interest and experience for residents. Tucked away in the core of the building the space will serve as a nature reserve in the middle of Manhattan.

Via-57-West-By-BIG-Bjarke-Ingels-Group-06-Via-57-West-759x428 Via 57 West / BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group

© Via 57 West

The building efficient structure of flat plate concrete below the 34th floor has embedded transfer girders within the slab to accommodate the facade setbacks at each floor, a steel structure completes the last 10 floors of the building providing mechanical, window washing and facade support.

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© Iwan Baan

The ground level has both a retail and parking component, while the partial cellar contains storage and back-of-house space. The western portion of the building which is within the 100 year flood plain has integral flood walls as well as mechanical units elevated above the flood plain. A 25,000 sqft, 395 ft long interior courtyard at the 3rd floor offers residents access to extensive green space.

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© Iwan Baan

Ingels called the 800,000-square-foot building “the lovechild of a courtyard building and a skyscraper,” and these new images give us a better look at the irregularly shaped outdoor space and its attractive landscaping. They also offer a close-up view of the angled, protruding facade, which almost conveys the feeling that the exterior is moving. The facade featured sloping cutouts for terraces, the central courtyard (which opens up to the Hudson River), and a pool on the lower floors.

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© Iwan Baan

Besides the signature courtyard and pool, the project come with a slew of amenities, including a basketball court, fitness center, golf simulator, screening room, and shared “living rooms” equipped with fireplaces, chef ’s kitchens, dining rooms and outdoor terraces. There also be 45,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor.

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© Iwan Baan

Natural light, views, trees, plants and moving water are integral components of VIΛ’s holistic design aesthetic and The Durst Organization’s commitment to creating properties in which people can live, work and thrive. The centerpiece of VIΛ 57 WEST’s unique design is VIA Garden, a lushly planted courtyard that opens toward the Hudson River, bringing views and low western sun deep into the block.

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© Iwan Baan

VIΛ 57 WEST’s materials, products, construction methods and operations were carefully vetted by The Durst Organization with a view of their impact on both the environment and daily living experience.

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© Iwan Baan

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© Iwan Baan

BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group:

BIG’s inaugural project in NY 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 intimacy 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.

Via-57-West-By-BIG-Bjarke-Ingels-Group-22-Iwan-Baan-800x1200 Via 57 West / BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group

© Iwan Baan

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© Iwan Baan

The form of the building shifts depending on the viewer’s vantage point. While appearing like a pyramid from the West-Side-Highway, it turns into a dramatic glass 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 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 to amplify the benefits of the generous view and balconies which encourage interaction between residents and passers-by.

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© Iwan Baan

Project Data:

Project name: Via 57 West
Location: 625 West 57th Street New York, New York, United States
Coordinates: 40.771490, -73.993016
Type: Apartment, Skyscraper
Project Area: 77,202 sqm
Status: Built
Completion Date/Year: August 2016
Visit Via 57 West’s website: here


  • 2017 – ArchDaily Building of the Year Award – Category: Housing – Winner
  • 2016 – International Highrise Award – Winner
  • 2016 – Design Museum Awards – Designs of the Year – Nominee
  • 2016 – The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Awards – Category: Best Tall Building Americas – Winner
  • 2016 – World Architecture Festival Award – Category: Completed Buildings > Housing – Finalist
  • 2016 – Society of American Registered Architects New York Council (SARA/NY Award) – Excellence in Residential Design Innovation Award – Special Award Winner
  • 2016 – Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Awards – RIBA International Awards – Finalist
  • 2015 – Concrete Industry Board Roger H. Corbetta Awards – Quality Concrete Award of Merit with Special Recognition in Architectural Design
  • 2015 – Architect Magazine Awards – Progressive Architecture Award – Citation
  • 2012 – The American Institute of Architect (AIA Awards) – AIA New York Design Awards – Category: Future Project – Merit Award

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Durst Fetner Corporate
Architects: BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group – Kløverbladsgade 56, 2500 Valby, Copenhagen, Denmark

Project Team:

  • Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen, Beat Schenk, David Brown, Aleksander Tokarz, Alessandro Ronfini, Alessio Valmori, Alvaro Mendive, Benjamin Schulte, Birk Daugaard, Celine Jeanne, Christoffer Gotfredsen, Daniel Sundlin, Dominyka Mineikyte, Eivor Davidsen, Felicia Guldberg, Florian Oberschneider, Gabrielle Nadeau, Gül Ertekin, Ho Kyung Lee, Hongyi Jin, Julian Liang, Julianne Gola, Laura Youf, Lucian Racovitan, Marcella Martinez, Maria Nikolova, Maya Shopova, Mitesh Dixit, Nicklas A. Rasch, Ola Hariri, Riccardo Mariano, Steffan Heath, Stanley Lung, Tara Hagan, Thilani Rajarathna, Tyler Polich, Valentina Mele, Valerie Lechene, Xu Li, Yi Li


  • Architect of Record: SLCE Architects
  • Landscape: Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects
  • Sturctural: Thornton Tomasetti
  • MEP: Dagher Engineering
  • Civil: Langan Engineering
  • Construction Manager: Hunter Roberts
  • Transportation: Philip Habib & Assoc.
  • Building Envelope: Israel Berger & Assoc.
  • Signage: Nancy Packes
  • Vertical Transportation: Van Deusen & Assoc.
  • Acoustical: Cerami & Assoc.
  • Wind: CPP
  • Environmental: AKRF
  • Renderings & Animation: German Glessner

Text Description: © Courtesy of BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, Durst Fetner Corporate, Via 57 West, Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects, Thornton Tomasetti
Images: © BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, Via 57 West, Iwan Baan, Nic Lehoux

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Via 57 West / BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group
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