Writing about 10 Hudson Yards now is a bit like writing about one hand clapping,” says William Pedersen, a founding partner of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) and lead designer of the new skyscraper. He sees it as one-half of a grand urban gesture, with the other half being its future, taller neighbor, 30 Hudson Yards, currently only partially completed. Together, the two KPF towers, developed by the Related Companies with Oxford Properties, will radically alter the Manhattan skyline and help anchor Hudson Yards, the ambitious new 28-acre mixed-use district now being built over an active rail yard on the island’s far west side, along the Hudson River.
Unlike Minoru Yamasaki’s twin towers at the old World Trade Center, a pair of identical, emphatic objects at the tip of Manhattan, 10 and 30 Hudson Yards will have a more complex relationship to one another, as well as to the rest of the city. At 900 feet tall, 10 Hudson Yards slopes on its west elevation, facing the Hudson River—to meet the city’s zoning setback requirements—while its 1,300-foot-tall companion will present a flat elevation to the river and a slanted facade toward the east, with a cantilevered skydeck offering dramatic city views. A large, eight-story retail podium will connect the buildings. Both towers will feature angled crowns that point to one another: their related but opposing profiles will create a “V” shape that will widen and narrow depending on one’s vantage point, placing them, says Pedersen, “in a kind of dance.”