Manhattan High-Rise Meets European Courtyard in BIG’s Courtscraper

Published on October 6, 2016 | by Archipreneur
BIG's VIΛ 57 West, a new addition to the New York City skyline
BIG's VIΛ 57 West, a new addition to the New York City skyline was completed this fall. | photo: Nic Lehoux
Welcome to our projects series where we present benchmarks of urban living – self developed by architects and creative city makers. This week we want to present you the recently completed “Courtscraper” by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.

VIΛ 57 West, designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group for the Durst Organization, introduces a new typology to New York City: the Courtscraper. The 77,202 sqm (830,995 SF) highrise is a fusion of the courtyard and the skyscraper. It combines the advantages of both designs into one: the compactness and efficiency of a courtyard building with the airiness and expansive look-out points of a skyscraper.

By keeping three corners of the block low and lifting the fourth northeast corner up to make the building’s distinctive 137 m (450 ft) peak, VIΛ’s courtyard opens out to a glorious view of the Hudson River.

“In recent decades, some of the most interesting urban developments have come in the form of nature and public space, reinserting themselves back into the postindustrial pockets, freeing up around the city; the pedestrianization of Broadway & Times Square; the bicycle lanes, the High Line and the industrial piers turning into parks.” says Bjarke Ingels.

With the 2,000 sqm (22,000 SF) courtyard, BIG continues this process of greenification offering the 709 residential units a lush garden at the heart of the building and allows open space to invade the urban fabric of the Manhattan city grid.

We presented you images of the construction and diagrams that explained the courtscraper typology in our article How the Bjarke Ingels Group Reinvented the Skyscraper.

As of this September the building is completed and we are happy to share images of this fantastic addition to the New York City skyline with you.

BIG's VIΛ 57 West
photo: Nic Lehoux
BIG's VIΛ 57 West
VIΛ 57 West as seen from 11th Avenue. | photo: Iwan Baan
BIG's VIΛ 57 West Courtyard
The communal garden offers lush green to the residents of VIΛ 57 West. | photo: BIG
BIG's VIΛ 57 West Courtyard
View to the courtyard and the Hudson River. | photo: BIG
interior BIG's VIΛ 57 West
The lobby is connected directly to the courtyard via a grand stair which invites residents into the courtyard space. | photo: Iwan Baan
unit in BIG's VIΛ 57 West
The material concept for the interior design of the project is “Scandimerican”, another layer of the European-American hybridity. | photo: Iwan Baan


BIG's VIΛ 57 West, a new addition to the New York City skyline
The new Manhattan skyline as seen from New Jersey. | photo: Iwan Baan
photo: Iwan Baan


corner of West 57th Street and the West Side Highway, New York City, NY, USA

Project Data:

  • Architects: Bjarke Ingels Group
  • Total size: 77,202 sqm (830,995 SF)
  • Hight: 137 m (450 ft)
  • Mixed-Use Commercial and Residential

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