Habitat New York II

New York, New York, 1968

During the design of Habitat New York I, the site for the project was moved several miles down the East River, from the Upper East Side of Manhattan to a district of unused piers south of the Brooklyn Bridge and adjacent to the Fulton Fish Market. With the change of site came the new challenges of developing a tower-scale Habitat. New density requirements of 300 people per acre surpassed any previous Habitat project, while the city required that the building maintain both access and views to the river. Rethinking the structural logic of the project led to the design of an ultra-light unit suspended entirely from catenary cables like those in a suspension bridge. The concrete-encased cables are anchored at the top to three towers containing the elevator cores and mechanical services, and at the bottom to a compression beam and multi-level structure holding 92,900 square meters of office and commercial space. Together, the towers, cables and compression beam act structurally like the mast and boom of a sailboat. Two modules, each octagonal in plan but different in shape and size, provide a variety of dwelling units with one, two or split levels. The modules are suspended on either side of a pedestrian walkway that leads from each core tower. An additional fire stair descends through each catenary cable to the ground. Plumbing and electrical services are stacked vertically through the octagonal modules, collected at the bottom, and sloped back to the core. The open ground plane between the building and the river provides public outdoor spaces, small-scale community services and continuous access from the street to the waterfront.

Project Type: Mixed Use

Size: 999967