Design studio Oiio has responded to the high-rise obsession of Manhattan's luxury condo developers by proposing a conceptual skyscraper that substitutes height with length.
The race to create standout buildings on the New York skyline has led to developers exploiting loopholes in the city’s zoning laws to maximise the height of their buildings, and thereby automatically add premium value to their ‘supertall’ properties.
Oiio, based in New York and Athens, seeks to change the rules of the game with The Big Bend project, where they would rather bend the building than bend the zoning laws, and still create one of the most prestigious buildings in Manhattan. Imagined as ‘the longest building in the world’, The Big Bend skyscraper has been designed to rise up, loop over and return to the ground, making ‘length’ the standout feature rather than ‘height’.
According to Oiio’s design, The Big Bend would be formed from a very thin structure that curves at the top and returns to the ground, straddling a historic building to fit into narrow plots on either side, creating what the architecture firm describes as the longest building in the world.
The studio explains that The Big Bend concept follows a recent trend that has appeared in New York City – the emergence of myriad tall and slender residential skyscrapers. Renderings show The Big Bend among the luxury apartment towers proposed and under construction on and around West 57rd Street, just south of Central Park, which is now known as Billionaire's Row. These skinny skyscrapers include SHoP Architects' 111 West 57th Street and Christian de Portzamparc's One57, and Jean Nouvel's 53W53 and Rafael Viñoly's 432 Park Avenue.
These buildings have been nicknamed ‘Super-Slenders’ by the Skyscraper Museum due to their extreme base-width-to-height ratios.
Serious concerns are being expressed by some of New York's prominent architects about the number of luxury residential skyscrapers classed as supertall rising in the city. Locals have also voiced concerns about the towers, complaining that they will overshadow Central Park.