What do these new Manhattan buildings under construction have in common with the Statue of Liberty?
Clad in copper, the towers will start out as shiny as a newly minted coin when they are completed next year. But just like America’s iconic monument to freedom, also made from copper, the surface will weather over time from exposure to the elements and eventually take on a pale green patina.
The American Copper Buildings are a tilting double-tower development joined by an innovative “skybridge” which is becoming an architectural talking point around the world.
The pool in the skybridge is more than 90 metres above the ground. Source: MARCH via Bloomberg
Spanning the 27th to 29th floors, the 30-metre skybridge was always going to be a showstopper – even before SHoP Architects decided to install a 23-metre lap pool in the bridge.
Future residents will swim more than 90 metres above the ground as well as enjoy amenities adjacent to the skybridge including a marble hammam – a Middle Eastern-style steam bath – plus plunge pool.
There will also be a bar and lounge with a billiards table. At the top of the skybridge are three private terraces, accessed by the apartments that flank it from the 40-storey east tower and 49-storey west tower.
The marble hammam, adjacent to the skybridge. Source: MARCH via Bloomberg
Workers have almost completed mounting the copper panelling on the buildings, formerly known as the 626 First Avenue project.
This week, a news team from Bloomberg rode in the construction lift up to the buildings’ 29th, and then 49th floors on a hard-hat tour for a first look at the project.
The first copper panels installed on the building have already started their journey towards turning green.
SHoP Architects is also known for Brooklyn’s Barclays Center built in 2010, another building clad in metal. The exterior steel “latticework” of the indoor arena has now turned rust-coloured.
The American Copper Buildings, by mega-developer JDS Development Group, will be made up entirely of rental units – 761 in total, ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments.
Twenty per cent will be rented as affordable housing and all residents will have access to the skybridge.
The curve inwards, as seen from street level. Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg
The bridge acts as an extension to the buildings’ full-floor amenities on levels 28 and 29 which include a vaulted, two-storey gym with a rock-climbing wall, a juice bar, a yoga studio, a communal kitchen, a playroom and an art studio.
Construction of the skybridge has brought an unexpected bonus – with infinite benefits for the lucky future building occupants.
The infinity pool is a bonus extra, added after space was freed up by relocating building utilities. Source: JDS Development via Bloomberg
Because the pool takes up only part of the bridge’s bottom level, the architects were able to fit many of the east tower’s mechanical systems alongside it. That, in turn, freed up the rooftop of the east tower.
And what better to put on an empty rooftop 40 floors high with views to New York harbour? An infinity pool and cabanas, which will also be open to all residents.
The rooftop pool takes the “infinity” aspect to an extreme. The Bloomberg team were reminded of Singapore’s famed Marina Bay Sands hotel, although on a smaller scale.
The buildings are set to be completed in 2017. It’s still too early, the developer says, to talk about apartment prices, but given the amenities, the views, the architecture and the $US172 million ($222 million) that JDS paid for the property, it’s safe to assume they won’t be cheap.