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VIA 57 WEST at 625 West 57th Street: Review and Ratings

Carter Horsley
Review of 625 West 57th Street by Carter Horsley
Carter Horsley Carter B. Horsley, a former journalist for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Post. Mr. Horsley is also the editorial director of

This asymmetrical, pyramid-shaped apartment building at 625 West 57th Street east of the West Side Highway between 57th and 58th Streets is the most dramatic new building in New York City since Frank Lloyd Wright’s inverted cone for the Solomon R Guggeheim Museum on Fifth Avenue between 88th and 89th Streets.

It is known as West 57 and was designed by Bjarke Ingels, a Danish architect whose firm is known as BIG for Bjarke Ingels Group.

As the western anchor of the city’s “super-tall” boulevard, its rakish slope and unexpected deep heart is rather astonishing and very esoteric.

It has clout like an unstoppable superliner.

It is unquestionably the city’s topsy-turvy architectural king.

It contains 709 apartments and is 467 feet high. It is was compled in 2016.

The developer was The Durst Organizatiion, which also erected the nearby Helena, named after the daughter of Douglas Durst.

Soren Grunert of BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) was the project architect, SLCE was the architect of record and Starr Whitehouse serves as the landscape architect.

Ingels’s major projects include the Big U to re-landscape Lower Manhattan for better hurricane protection, the Lego Visitor Center in Billund, Denmark, The Danish Pavilion at the Expo 2010 in Shanghai, and the Danish National Maritime Museum in Helsingor.  Other projects include the Amager Bakke Waste-to-Energy Plant that incorporates a ski run, the concave wooden maze in the great interior space of the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., a Museum of the Human Body in Montpellier, France, a city hall in Tallinn, Estonia, and a mixed-use project in Tianjin, China..

Ingels likes comic books and produced a comic book-like monograph on his practice entitled “Yes is More.”

He worked for three years at Rem Koolhaas’s Office of Metropolitan Architecture and then formed a practice known as Plot with Julien de Smedt, who also had worked by Koolhaas

Bottom Line

One suspects that this building is only for expert skiers. With three low corners and is hollowed-out core/courtyard, this building seems poised to lift off and fly away on its own magic carpet.  The only negative is that it is not bigger.


The building’s large courtyard opens up views towards the Hudson and, according to the architects, “brings the low western sun deep into the block” and its slope “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.”

The 58th Street façade consists of many bay windows, angled towards the Hudson River but the south façade is far more complex with many slit windows.

The base of the building has retail uses.

“By slightly angling the interior walls, all units are oriented towards the Hudson River and the sun.  The fishbone pattern of the walls can also be found in the elevation.  Every apartment has a bay window to take advantage of the site’s spectacular views.


The building has a doorman, a concierge, a health club and a garage.

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