Best Tall Building 300-399 meters Award of Excellence: One Manhattan West, New York City

Kim Van Holsbeke
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, New York City

Christian Heimple
Senior Vice President, Design & Construction
Brookfield Properties, New York City

A New Gateway to Manhattan’s Far West Side

One Manhattan West is a new Class-A office tower in the Manhattan West development, a 7 million-square-foot (650,321 square-meter) mixed-used neighborhood built above active railroad tracks where minimal buildable land existed. It is the development’s tallest tower and most recognizable building, and it is situated on the northeast corner of the site at Ninth Avenue and 33rd Street to announce civic identity of the entire project. The tower anchors Manhattan West’s two acres (0.8 hectares) of public space. It is located 60 feet (18 meters) from the street; combined with its slender structure, this solution allows the building to provide its own plaza that simultaneously makes several contributions to the urban realm. The plaza serves as the main entry into the site and is the principal access point to the open public space and retail off West 33rd Street. The triple-height, column-free lobby serves as an inside-outside room that provides an interior connection from one city block and public space to another.

With a curvature to the east, the tower welcomes visitors arriving from 33rd Street and the adjacent Moynihan Train Hall and Penn Station. The design responds to a highly complex site. The tower required an intricate synthesis of architectural design and structural engineering to navigate subgrade railroad tracks leading to Penn Station. With a limited amount of space available for the structure, and to avoid the tracks, the integrated project team designed the building with a central core that rises from bedrock to the top level. Each floor plate branches out symmetrically from the core, and near street level, several perimeter columns slope into the core to reinforce the structure and create the column-free lobby.

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