35 Hudson Yards

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SOM’s integrated team of architects and structural engineers navigated several challenges while designing this West Side tower, from fitting a variety of program requirements into the building to maintaining operation of the active railroad tracks below.

Project Facts
  • Completion Year 2019
  • Design Finish Year 2015
  • Size Site Area: 31,000 Building Height: 1,000 feet Number of Stories: 72 Building Gross Area: 1,055,000 square feet
  • Awards
    2021, Award of Merit – Structural Systems Design | AEI PPA, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) – Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI) 2020, CTBUH Award of Excellence: Structural Engineering, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 2020, SEAoNY Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards - Finalist, SEAoNY 2020, 3rd Place: Skyscraper Award, Emporis 2021, Award of Excellence: Best Tall Mixed-Use Building, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 2021, Audience Vote Award: Best Tall Mixed-Use Building, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 2020, Finalist: Luxury Hotel, Hospitality Design Magazine 2019, Finalist: Hospitality, Urban Land Institute New York Chapter (ULI NY)
  • Sustainability Certifications LEED BD+C NC (New Construction) Gold, BD+C, Gold
  • Collaborators
    Ingrao Inc. Rockwell Group Longman Lindsey Jaros, Baum & Bolles Vidaris, Inc. GERB Vibration Control Systems, Inc. Philip Habib & Associates Entek Engineering, LLC Ken Smith Workshop Jenkins & Huntington, Inc. L'Observatoire International Focus Lighting, Inc. HDLC Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc. Gilsanz Murray Steficek Code Consultants, Inc.
Project Facts
  • Completion Year 2019
  • Design Finish Year 2015
  • Size Site Area: 31,000 Building Height: 1,000 feet Number of Stories: 72 Building Gross Area: 1,055,000 square feet
  • Awards
    2021, Award of Merit – Structural Systems Design | AEI PPA, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) – Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI) 2020, CTBUH Award of Excellence: Structural Engineering, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 2020, SEAoNY Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards - Finalist, SEAoNY 2020, 3rd Place: Skyscraper Award, Emporis 2021, Award of Excellence: Best Tall Mixed-Use Building, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 2021, Audience Vote Award: Best Tall Mixed-Use Building, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 2020, Finalist: Luxury Hotel, Hospitality Design Magazine 2019, Finalist: Hospitality, Urban Land Institute New York Chapter (ULI NY)
  • Sustainability Certifications LEED BD+C NC (New Construction) Gold, BD+C, Gold
  • Collaborators
    Ingrao Inc. Rockwell Group Longman Lindsey Jaros, Baum & Bolles Vidaris, Inc. GERB Vibration Control Systems, Inc. Philip Habib & Associates Entek Engineering, LLC Ken Smith Workshop Jenkins & Huntington, Inc. L'Observatoire International Focus Lighting, Inc. HDLC Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc. Gilsanz Murray Steficek Code Consultants, Inc.

A centerpiece for a new neighborhood

Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States, and the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Center was built in the 1930s. This six-block area on Manhattan’s West Side, comprising 28 acres over active railroad tracks and tunnels, reimagines a formerly underdeveloped part of the city into a residential and commercial district with new open space. At the heart of this neighborhood is 35 Hudson Yards, a mixed-use tower designed by SOM.

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© Dave Burk | SOM

Standing out while fitting in

The tower, which is also the tallest residential building in Hudson Yards at 1,000 feet, comprises 143 private residences, an Equinox-branded luxury hotel, an Equinox fitness club and spa, first-class office space, and ground-floor retail. To incorporate the entire program within the 1.1 million-square-foot tower, each part of the program is stacked vertically on floorplates of different sizes, with transitions expressed by a series of setbacks that twist upward around the tower. The building is draped in glass and limestone pleats, a composition that unifies the elements stacked within and sets the building apart from the rest of Hudson Yards. The interplay of materials creates a dynamic effect, making the building appear more transparent or opaque from different vantage points. The stone also expresses a natural quality seldom seen in today’s skyscrapers, with visible fossils and slight variations of color that change as pedestrians walk around the building.

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© Dave Burk | SOM

35 Hudson Yards flows effortlessly into the surrounding development and the nearby streets of Manhattan. The building is bordered by park space on its eastern and southern sides, which come together to create a rotational energy that is expressed in the tower’s swirling design. Terraces on each setback create outdoor gardens that become smaller and more frequent toward the top of the tower, while also carrying the open space at street level to the tower’s floors above.

Standing out while fitting in

The importance of teamwork

In addition to meeting the challenge of building 35 Hudson Yards on a platform above the tracks serving Penn Station, SOM’s integrated team worked together to fit the tower into a relatively small site. By using high-strength concrete at various grades, the team was able to limit the thickness of the building’s structure, lighten loads on the platform, and create smooth transitions as the tower rises in a series of setbacks. The building’s residential, hotel, and office floors are designed with reinforced concrete two-way flat slabs—a standard construction method that allowed this unconventional project to be completed on an accelerated schedule. The design team coordinated with the contractor to enable a two-day construction cycle on residential levels, using prefabricated elements such as wall reinforcement cages and high-strength rebar assemblages. While the tower’s overall footprint aligns nearly perfectly with the platform below, sloped columns negotiate the gap between support points where the tower’s massing recedes.

35 Hudson Yards is a classic example of what is possible when an integrated team works together to find innovative solutions to complex challenges—a constrained site, compounded by the need to maintain nonstop operation of critical infrastructure below. During construction, SOM maintained daily site visits to facilitate greater coordination between architectural, structural, and construction teams.


Solving a complex structural challenge

To navigate the constraints of the subterranean infrastructure, SOM’s integrated team of architects and engineers developed an innovative solution for the tower’s structure. The building rests on a platform constructed above active railroad tracks, and does not even touch solid ground. The structural system consists of a high-strength reinforced concrete core supplemented by a series of buttress walls that extend to the building’s perimeter. In the east-west direction, the core walls are built on the limited space available between the tracks, while in the north-south direction, the core spans 50 feet across three tracks. The tower’s structural columns also align with the steel columns that support the platform.

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© Dave Burk | SOM

A healthier design

The building’s green space and its connection to the outdoors are among the project’s several sustainability features. Regularly occupied parts of the building have access to sweeping views of the city and the Hudson River. Inside, low emitting paints and coatings were employed for many of the finishes, and the building’s glass enclosure brings in natural lighting during the day to reduce energy use and enhance the wellness of its occupants. As part of the project’s LEED Gold certification target, water usage was also significantly reduced, through multiple measures—rainwater is collected from the site and reused for irrigation and cooling. Inside, fixtures with low flush and flow rates allow residents, guests, office workers, and Equinox customers to utilize water efficiently.

Using high strength concrete allowed the team to limit the thickness of the building’s structure, lighten loads on the platform, and create smooth transitions as the tower rises in a series of setbacks.