New York City Is About to Embark on a Monumental 2019
ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN
New York City Is About to Embark on a Monumental 2019
With a flurry of much-needed infrastructural and design improvements—as well the unveiling of the largest private real-estate development in U.S. history—the Big Apple is gearing up for an annus mirabilis
The city’s skyline, with the salient silhouettes of the Chrysler and Empire State buildings, needs no introduction. But there are many welcome additions to the staple of noteworthy attractions in 2019.
Hudson Yards, a neighborhood developed by Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group, contains more than 18 million square feet of commercial and residential space, and will reinvent the skyline and the western margin of New York City from Midtown and below with the addition of over 100 shops, 4,000 residences, and 14 acres of public open space, as well as an Equinox-branded hotel with 200 rooms dedicated to a fitness lifestyle.
The Vessel, designed by Thomas Heatherwick with a structural steel frame covered by a polished copper-color cladding, is one of the can’t-miss sights, with its series of 154 intricately interconnected flights of stairs (2,500 individual steps). With a design that looks like a futuristic M.C. Escher painting, it aspires to transport visitors and help them engage with the landscape from a unique vantage point.
“I cannot possibly claim that The Vessel is going to be an Eiffel Tower for New York,” Heatherwick tells AD. “However, it is certainly an incredible feat of engineering and craftsmanship and one of the most ambitious pieces of steelwork ever made. It is an exciting extension of the philosophy of public space offered by the High Line, offering an unexpected linear mile of new space that wraps and rises up into the sky, making somewhere distinctive for the people of New York—that doesn’t exist anywhere else.”
Hudson Yards will also be home to The Shed, New York’s first arts center dedicated to commissioning, producing, and presenting all types of arts. The movable structure was designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with the Rockwell Group and puts creativity front and center of all that is happening in this area.
The tallest building in the development will be 30 Hudson Yards, which will boast an observation deck accessible from the 100th floor that will have the distinction of being the highest man-made viewing area in the western hemisphere, and the fifth highest in the world. This deck is crafted with Italian steel, structural glass, and granite paver stones quarried in Virginia and finished in Quebec, and is billed as “a truly international endeavor.”
The year will also see the opening of the new 26,000-square-foot Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island, the most significant addition to the places since the statue itself, in May. Designed by the architectural firm FXCollaborative, whose vision was to create a garden pavilion that adds to the experience of the statue, the museum starts at the pedestrian mall and extends to the top of the structure through a series of granite steps, resulting in sweeping views of Lady Liberty, lower Manhattan, and New York Harbor. The roof is planted with native meadow grass that will form a beautiful natural habitat for local and migrating birds. The structure makes use of the same granite, bronze, and copper that was used by Richard Morris Hunt for the statue’s pedestal more than 130 years ago, thereby ensuring a design continuum. Prominently displayed is the Statue’s original torch, showcased behind 22-foot-high glass walls.
Also on tap for the year is a $15 million renovation and expansion of the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in the Bronx and The Glasshouse, one of the city’s largest private event spaces, featuring two outdoor observation decks overlooking the Hudson River.
The Museum of Modern Art, too, gets a substantial renovation and expansion that will increase its spaces by 30 percent, with everything set to open during the summer. There will be two more galleries on the third floor, as well as the extension of the historic Bauhaus staircase and a creation of a new lounge on the first floor with a restored view of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. The existing galleries on the second, fourth, and fifth floors will expand west into the new 53 West 53rd building designed by Jean Nouvel.
New York airports will start the renovation process in 2019 for some much-needed face-lifts.
John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) gets a massive $13 billion renovation with the creation of two major new terminals. This redesign by Mott MacDonald and Grimshaw Architects also boasts miniature versions of the High Line and even a section labeled “Central Park.” A new terminal with 23 international gates is slated to open on the south side of JFK through a partnership with Lufthansa, Air France, Japan Airlines, and Korean Airlines, which will replace the current Terminals 1 and 2, as well as a portion of the erstwhile Terminal 3. A new Jet Blue Terminal that emphasizes more lounges and recreation space will replace the current Terminal 7. Many of the gates will now be able to accommodate wide-body jets, and the first phase of these improvements will be unveiled in 2023. Also new for 2019 is the TWA Hotel, which features a cocktail lounge inside the fuselage of the restored “Connie”—the 1958 Lockheed Constellation Starliner that has become a sort of pop-cultural airplane icon, having appeared in several movies. Visitors can enter the hotel and the bar through the TWA Flight Center designed by Eero Saarinen.
Newark and La Guardia airports also receive extensive makeovers. La Guardia just opened the first new 11 gates in Terminal B, just one phase of its $8 billion makeover supervised by Swedish developer Skanska.
The city also gets a flurry of brand-new hotels to accommodate new visitors: The new Aliz Hotel, designed by Lemay + Escobar, in the heart of Times Square offers 287 rooms with Beekman 1802 amenities and has the highest hotel rooftop bar in Manhattan. The 226-room Park Terrace Hotel recently debuted on Bryant Park with nature-inspired interiors by Stonehill & Taylor. And the new 339-room Moxy Chelsea, with interiors by Yabu Pushelberg and the Rockwell Group, reimagines the urban jungle and opens in February in Manhattan’s Flower District.
The year 2019 also marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising—the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement—and the city has a colorful new creative campaign under the banner, “Pride. Uncontained.”
All these new attractions just means one thing: adding more days to your sojourn in New York City.