Characterized by the rise of supertalls, Manhattan’s 57th Street, dubbed Billionaire’s Row, encounters developers and architects vying to preserve the sweeping views of Central Park, as towers are built one by one alongside one another. Alternatively, for the last decade, when standing in the park’s Sheep Meadow, looking south toward the city, one is able to observe this competition for higher views of the park. Still feeding the luxury market, Hill West’s 7 West 57th seeks to intervene on the famed street in a more subtle way.
Solow Building Company purchased the narrow lot in 2005, wanting to ensure that the building that went next door to 9 West 57th—designed for Solow by Gordon Bunshaft at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill—was in concert with the grand 18 floor slope of Bunshaft’s facade. 7 West 57th rises 20 floors (237 feet), with 15 floors of full-floor-plate two-bedroom apartments. It is characterized by its all-glass front—save the mechanical level—and setbacks typical of Manhattan zoning regulations. The front and rear facades are cantilevered, with backlit channel glass spanning the west facade.
As Hill West founding partner David West explained, the building “was not trying to compete with Billionaire’s Row, the supertalls, but it was trying to offer a counterpoint and alternative to those.” With a small lobby—reflective of the narrow floorplan—residents can access units quickly, offering interior privacy in the heart of Midtown. The intent, as stated in a press release, is a building that “will offer a more discreet, luxurious living experience for residents who crave the convenience and glamor of Fifth Avenue, but value privacy and functionality in a serene and warm setting.”
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