Sales have officially commenced for Zaha Hadid’s 520 West 28th Street, a curvaceous luxury mid-rise tower that will join the throng of bombastic buildings abutting Manhattan’s High Line. The building, still under construction, will be the Pritzker prize-winning architect’s first residential project in New York.
“It’s a very nice neighborhood and, at times, [the process was] a very nice experience. We are delighted to do something here,” Hadid said Thursday at the tower’s sales launch in a West Chelsea showroom.
“The project finally gives us a chance to put our mark here,” added firm partner Patrik Schumacher. “It’s a superb moment.”
The building, set to open in early 2017, is an enterprise of Related Companies, the real estate firm developing the $20-billion Hudson Yards projects nearby on Manhattan’s western edge.
Although the structure will be no higher than 11 stories when completed, 520 West 28th has 21 interlaced floors defined by a chevron pattern that will snake up the building’s exterior, clad in hand-buffed metal manufactured in Pennsylvania.
Designing within a complicated zoning envelope (which Schumacher described as a “disfigured monster”) proved challenging, but the architects resolved it through the building’s curvature, pushing some portions of the exterior outwards, and pulling some back. Generous balconies face the adjacent High Line.
“The connection between the High Line and the building is very visible,” Hadid, who was just named this year’s RIBA gold medalist, said. “You are part of both worlds.”
Hadid’s team also designed the building’s sensuous interiors which feature sculptural surfaces, integrated storage, and a luminous material palette of white oak and white marble. Kitchens, designed in collaboration with Italian company Boffi, will feature a sleek central island with chamfered edges and slick metal detailing.
The developers describe 520 West 28th as “one monumental piece of art” and the ultimate playground for Hadid’s fans. At the showroom launch, Related vice president Greg Gushee asked the architect about her following. “I don’t know about my fans,” Hadid replied, looking formidable in a black Commes des Garçons overcoat, but Schumacher anticipates there will be “super-cool people” in the building.
Super-wealthy may be more accurate: Gushee assured the opening’s attendees that the developers “spared no expense” when it came to the project. Choice amenities will include a skylit swimming pool, storage facilities inspired by Swiss bank vaults, a robotic valet parking system, a 2,500-square-foot sculpture park, and the city’s first private IMAX theater.
Prices for one of the 39 units (“at this price point, we call them residences,” one sales representative observed) start at $4.95 million and climb to $50 million for a triplex penthouse, to include a roof deck and a dramatic sculpted staircase. According to the sales representative, they have seen equal interest from foreign and local prospective buyers.
This won’t be the last New York will see of the London-based architecture firm: Schumacher said that the firm has numerous upcoming projects in the city (which he cannot talk about yet) and that they have plans to open up a New York office. Schumacher sees this as an opportune moment for European firms wanting to stake their claim in the city.
“New York underwent architectural renaissances in the ‘30s and ‘60s,” he said, “I hope that ambition is returning.”