2022

MCHAP

611 West 56th Street

Alvaro Siza Vieira

New York City, United States

June 2021

PRIMARY AUTHOR

Alvaro Siza Vieira

CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR

Gabellini Sheppard Associates

CLIENT

Sumaida + Khurana & Levy

PHOTOGRAPHER

Nuno Alberto Leite Rodrigues Grande

OBJECTIVE

A primary architectural design objective for the 611 W 56th St residential tower was to mark this important urban intersection, creating a strong architectural presence on an extremely narrow site in order to firmly connect with and celebrate its prominent corner relationship within the city and its streets.

At the same time this white limestone volume reaches toward the sky in brilliant contrast, rising against the adjacent black glass and steel neighboring development to the north. It grows tall out of its surrounding built landscape of time-evolved neighboring buildings of many sizes, proportions, and mixed materials like more traditional brick and stone.

611 W 56th tower joins a pre-existing urban forest and a heterogeneous evolving neighborhood, striving for a volumetric respect for urbanization and context.

CONTEXT

Located at 823 11th Avenue and the corner of 56th Street, the recently completed residential tower 611 W 56th St, rises up from the ever-changing New York City neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen. Set within a forest of buildings that shoot from the ground, shoulder to shoulder, unique yet just one cell of a growing body – with the spontaneity of a cypress tree or a bamboo stalk.

Capturing its portion of the NYC skyline along the western edge of Manhattan near the Hudson River, this tower claims the northwest corner of Eleventh Avenue for its base. It stands on a narrow site within a heterogeneous context of higher and lower buildings, dark and brilliant, old and contemporary, and a variety of time evolved materials, textures and colors. The structure has a profile of 36 floors projecting from the building’s base while respecting the strict urban zoning requirements of the site. It measures 172,000 SF, over 450 feet tall and provides a diversity of residences ranging from one- to four-bedroom units, terraced ‘maisonette’ duplexes and penthouses.

PERFORMANCE

The building responds to the rich variety of its neighborhood architectural context with simple contrast. From the outside, this long and narrow, iconic white limestone clad structure becomes immediately recognizable as ‘Home’. Generously proportioned windowed elevations, accented with light aluminum frames, climb to capture stunning city views to the east and south, as well as colorful river sunset panoramas to the west. A quintessentially urban living experience is offered to residents from the inside out. Ample natural light penetrates deep into these apartments taking advantage of the narrow proportion of the site and its 3 sided exposure.

The building’s granite base engages with the street at Eleventh Avenue and wraps along the southern sidewalk of 56th Street, providing human scale proportioned urban fabric for commercial tenants, as well as access to automated parking. A carefully proportioned carved-out, recessed corner of the building’s strong base, at the very corner intersection it demarcates, protects and accentuates the Residential Entry. An intimately proportioned oak paneled Lobby interior welcomes residents home with an ambient setting reminiscent of their own apartment’s oak-lined entry foyers. A planted tranquility Garden Terrace on Level 2, as well as Lower Level Amenities support social gatherings, community activities, health and fitness, enhancing the overall urban living experience.