Imagine the beauty of a rippled facade that multiplies the presence of the sky and plaza intersected by the arcing passage of the sun. This remarkable design is thanks to the design of James Carpenter Design Associates and forms part of the Related Companies’ Hudson Yards development.
Opened to the public on 15 March, Hudson Yards is a new 105 218m² neighbourhood on the west side of Manhattan, built over a working rail yard. The mixed-use complex is organised around a public square adjacent to the Hudson River to the west.
James Carpenter Design Associates was commissioned by Related Urban to design the west-facing podium art wall for 20 Hudson Yards, a large retail complex between two towers designed by KPF.
The art wall becomes the facade for the Hudson Yards shops and establishes the dynamic threshold for a public square, where Hudson River Park, High Line and Hudson Park and Boulevard intersect with the Culture Shed and Thomas Heatherwick’s stepped vessel sculpture.
The 91-metre-long cable-net supports glass panels inclined to capture the sky and curved along their top edge to capture the plaza landscape and activity below. The horizontal rhythm of the wall simultaneously captures and compresses the activities of the sky and landscaped plaza, reflecting a linear repetition of sky and plaza that echoes the rippled surface reflections of the Hudson River.
At times, the 5,8 metre high wall appears to lean back to absorb the western sky, while in the afternoon, the repeated image of the sun reflected in the wall’s curves, describes an arc reminiscent of the afternoon sun setting over the river.