Creating a new terminus for W68th Street, 170 Amsterdam Apartments  sits between Central Park to the east and the landscaped open space of the Lincoln Towers superblock to the west. The building’s architecture is derived from its location between these large green spaces, providing the inspiration for the tree-like exoskeleton that defines the exterior.

Courtesy of Handel Architects – Photographs : Bruce Damonte

The long narrow site demanded a solution for the site that moves the structure to the outside of the enclosure in order to free up valuable interior space that would have been occupied by columns. The exterior columns also create a deep facade, something more akin to the buildings in the neighborhood, such as the nearby cultural institutions of Lincoln Center.

Courtesy of Handel Architects – Photographs : Bruce Damonte

The concrete used to create the exoskeleton is the result of a specialized mix that gives the material the appearance of limestone, a further nod to the buildings Lincoln Square neighborhood. 170 Amsterdam affirms the creative possibilities that concrete affords, by acting as both structure and finish.

Courtesy of Handel Architects – Photographs : Bruce Damonte

The columns that make up 170 Amsterdam’s exoskeleton intersect at different heights, giving the appearance of a façade in motion as the locations of the intersections rise to the top of the building. The deep recesses that are created between the structure and the glass facade play with the light and shadow, creating a changing impression throughout the day. Once at the top, the building’s volume ends while the skeleton continues, creating a structural canopy for the rooftop spaces.

Courtesy of Handel Architects – Structural Diagram

At ground level, the columns create a dynamic streetwall, with the exposed structure angling into the sidewalk and piercing the solid form of the building canopy. Inside, the exposed concrete columns angle through the public spaces of the building piercing the floors and walls of the lobby, common rooms and corridors, and disappearing into the ceiling above. In the apartments, seeing the structure through the floor-to-ceiling glass has the effect of being suspended in a treehouse, held up by the branches of the building’s exoskeleton.

Courtesy of Handel Architects – Photographs : Bruce Damonte

170 Amsterdam is LEED Certified by the USGBC. The horizontal projecting slab serves as a sun control device and contributes significantly to the energy performance of the building by reducing air–conditioning needs and lighting costs and providing glare-free natural light.

Courtesy of Handel Architects – Detailed Construction Diagrams

Project Info :

Architects : Handel Architects
Project Year : 2015
Project Area : 21235.0 sqm
Code :Milrose Consultants
Client : Equity Residential
Photographs : Bruce Damonte
Acoustics : Shen Milsom Wilke
Vertical Transportation : VDA
Landscape : Blondie’s Treehouse
Lighting : Clinard Design Studio
Concrete Contractor : RC Structure
Geotechnical / Civil : Langan Engineering
MEP/FP/Sustainability : ADS Consulting
Zoning : Development Consulting Services
Construction Manager : Ryder Construction
Structure : DeSimone Consulting Engineers
Formwork Contractor : Molded Fiber Glass CP
Exterior Wall : IBA Consulting & Engineering
Concrete Consultant : Reginald Hough Associates
Project Location : 170 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10023, United States

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