Concrete creates The West, a unique residential project in Hell’s Kitchen. Concrete’s first residential project in Manhattan consists of 219 apartments and is due to open in the spring of 2021. Concrete is responsible for the buildings, architecture, interiors and landscape design.
The West is located in Hell’s Kitchen, one of the least explored areas in Manhattan. The neighborhood is known for its industrial character and its rich, colorful history which combined create an unmistakable mystique. Today it has a varied urban architecture of brick warehouses, low rise showrooms, open parking lots and original townhouses. The unique mix of residents, companies, independent shops and small restaurants results in a dynamic neighborhood.
The West is meant for explorers who want to live in a building that reflects the unpolished history and character of the Hell’s Kitchen area. It introduces a new way of living; its condos – a mix of studios, 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments – are smartly designed from the inside out to create the best residential experience, enhanced by extensive communal spaces and outdoor areas. The base of the building offers a loft-type experience, with a robust brick facade referring to both the warehouse character of the area as well as the townhouses in the side streets. The super light and airy apartments on the top floors are designed to make the most of the views over Manhattan and the Hudson River.
The U-shaped building stretches from the corners of 47th street and 48th street along 11th avenue. The 7-storey brick base of the building is an extension of the townhouse-like character of the two streets, and connects to the brick warehouse architecture of the avenues. The brick facades are carefully crafted in rich detailed patterns. Both the bricks and the patterns were custom-designed and hand-made specifically for The West in collaboration with up-cycling company StoneCycling. The brickwork combined with large industrial windows create street oriented, typical NY loft-type studios and 1-bedroom apartments on the lower floors.
Inspired by the social function of New York-style stoops, the main entrance of the building is formed by a small entrance plaza that forms a smooth transition between the public street and the private building. The plaza has different seating facilities that encompass a central tree.
Once higher up in the building, it is all about the views over New York’s iconic skyline and the sunset over Hudson River. Glass boxes that pop in and out of the building create unique views and orientations in each apartment and provide every unit with a large private terrace. This results in a lightweight, transparent and almost cloud-like architecture that reflects the unique experience each of the apartments offers.
The West’s amenities are where the community thrives through coming together. It includes specific areas to work, a pool deck with sunset view on the top roof, a rooftop field and pocket park including a dog run, a communal kitchen, a sunset terrace with fire pit, a double-height gym, a playroom for kids and two in-house hotel-style guest rooms that can be booked for visitors.
All of these spaces are created to enhance comfort, ease the functionality for residents and foster interaction between them. The design also involved a special focus on dedicated work spaces to facilitate working from home, including a full glass greenhouse in the garden filled with bookshelves, a fireplace and a large work table, and two meeting/working rooms stacked with office supplies and equipment. Interaction between residents is further fueled by the communal kitchen – to be programmed with food gatherings – and the adjacent outdoor kitchen for summer evening events.
A major focal point of the building is the craftsmanship of the construction and design; bespoke interior and exterior elements create a sophisticated atmosphere in which every detail matters. This includes a 5-storey custom mural, created by artist Rubin.
This craftsmanship comes to culmination in the intricate brickwork of The West’s facade, the result of a collaboration between Concrete and StoneCycling, a Dutch firm committed to the sustainable manufacturing of up-cycled bricks. The brick matrix itself is a proprietary mix of recovered construction debris blended with raw clay quarried in The Netherlands. A total of thirty different brick shapes and sizes were required for the project, and each piece was individually hand brushed with a subtly reflective glass glaze before being fired in a centuries-old factory.
This complex process is just one example of the perfectionist approach applied to the architecture and interiors. All efforts are dedicated to create a building that pays tribute to its location and creates a memorable and unique experience for its residents.