FXFOWLE carves the Hudson Hill building into the Manhattan landscape
Situated on a narrow street in midtown Manhattan, the design of the Hudson Hill condominium building presented a significant challenge. Specifically, its north-facing location across the street from a 20-storey hospital provided little light or views for residents. In response, FXFOWLE Architects maximised the living experience for residents by making use of a small park located in front of the hospital, as well as oblique views of the Hudson River to the west. By carving out the building’s street façade in a saw-toothed manner, Hudson Hill’s street-facing apartments were designed with large corner windows facing the park, affording full westward views. The apartment entry doors were designed on a direct axis with the windows in order to take full advantage of these unique corner openings. Residents’ living rooms were shaped to allow residents to fully experience the views.
FXFOWLE’s approach led to the realisation that the building is viewed by passers-by from 58th Street and 10th Avenue at an acute angle. In order to take advantage of this and appear more visible to pedestrians from the corner, the massing of the building and the articulation of the façade were developed based on this 'acute angle' idea, thereby showcasing the relationship between the inside and outside of the building. The design of the building makes it evident to both pedestrians on the street level and residents inside how the building responds to its specific local conditions.
A wood paneled expression further emphasises the idea of 'carving' the building. As a substance, wood is in its nature an ideal material to express the tectonic ideas of the building. Wood can be shaped through cutting, sanding and finishing from a single block, just as the normative 'Manhattan building block' has been shaped to become the Hudson Hill.