Best Tall Building 200-299 meters Award of Excellence: ARO, New York City

John Cetra
Founding Principal
CetraRuddy Architecture, New York City

Hilary Feshbach
Algin Management, New York City

Deceptively Simple

Situated in the vibrant Theater District of Manhattan’s midtown west in New York City, ARO demonstrates a keen awareness of its surrounding urban context, utilizing distinctive approaches in massing, organization, and exterior expression to create a thoughtful approach to contemporary urban living. The massing responds to various site and zoning constraints, revealing inventive solutions that maximize the adaptability of the building through increased floor area, outdoor access, and amplified views. Shaping of the form reflects changes in unit mixes, with larger units occupying the top, and smaller units occupying the bottom.

A deceptively simple envelope pattern provides a singular graphic that emphasizes the shifts in building form, visibly expressing its complex programmatic, contextual, and structural challenges at a macro level. The façade experience at the micro level is composed of a collection of details that give scale and proportion while animating the façade. Six module types shift the building skin’s two layers, creating additional opportunities for occupiable space and differentiating living experiences throughout the building. On the podium amenity levels, this concept of horizontality intersects with the language of formal shifts established throughout the design.

The result is a series of cascading layers whose extended sightlines and diagonal movement provide unexpected connections. Multi-level openings puncture the horizontal datum and create further opportunities for engagement. The outdoor terraces enrich residents’ experience at the human scale, strengthening the continuity and movement between spaces while offering a variety of green spaces to complement the nearby Central Park.

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