Concrete Designs Apartment Building With “Cloud-Shaped” Roof For Hell’s Kitchen
Dutch architecture studio Concrete has completed The West Residence Club condominium building in Manhattan, which features a brick base made from salvaged debris and an upper portion made from glass boxes.
At 201,000 square feet (18,673 square meters), the apartment building stretches along 11th Avenue between 47th and 48th Streets in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. The neighborhood features a mix of buildings, ranging from brick townhouses and warehouses to new apartment towers.
The building has 219 units, ranging from studios to one- and two-bedroom condominiums. Its design aims to evoke the area’s industrial heritage, said Amsterdam-based studio Concrete, which oversaw the project’s architecture, interiors and landscaping.
The building rises 12 levels and offers views of the skyline and the Hudson River to the west.
The lower part has a simple, square shape, while the upper part consists of glazed boxes which, according to the architecture studio, were designed to “in and out” and provide expansive views for residents.
“The result is a light, transparent and almost cloud-like architecture that reflects the unique experience that each of the apartments offers,” said Concrete.
Designed to reference the area’s warehouses, the building’s seven-story base features large industrial-style windows and special brickwork by Dutch company StoneCycling.
The custom-designed bricks are made of clay from the Netherlands which is combined with construction debris. More than 260,000 kilograms of debris were used to make the brick.
The project required a total of 40 different brick shapes and sizes.
“Each piece was individually hand brushed with a subtly reflective glass glaze before being fired in a century-old factory,” the team said.
“The unique glass enamel creates a variety of shades and shine during the day, which gives a different reading of the building each time you see it.”
The entrance is marked by a plaza with seating, greenery and a birch tree, forming a smooth transition between the public street and the private building.
Upon entering, visitors step into a double-height entry space with terrazzo flooring, brass-colored curtains, and comfortable furnishings. Daylight enters through high windows.
On levels one through seven, Concrete created loft-style apartments with metal windows, raw wood floors, and sliding steel doors with textured glass.
Upper-tier units — on floors eight through 12 — are meant to feel lighter and airier. They feature light oak floors, sliding glass walls, expansive views, and at least one private terrace.
The building offers a range of amenity spaces, including a double-height gym, children’s playroom, and two hotel-style suites that can be rented out for guests.
On the ground floor, a greenhouse-inspired building is decorated with living room furniture, shelves, a fireplace and a large work table.
Residents are also given several opportunities to be outside without leaving the building.
On the eighth floor there is a park with a play lawn, a dog run and an outdoor kitchen. On the 12th floor, there is a swimming pool, barbecues and lounge areas shaded by pergolas.
“The gardens, ivy walls and trees growing through the openings of the pergola offer on the one hand a haven of greenery and on the other hand views of one of the most iconic urban areas in the world”, the team said.
The building’s artwork includes a five-story exterior mural by artist Rubin415 and a subtle installation behind the janitor’s design which consists of bricks arranged in Morse code characters to form the statement: “The hell is a mild climate, this place is hell’s kitchen”.
“This statement, made by a senior police officer to a recruit during violent riots in the 1930s, is believed to be the origin of the name Hell’s Kitchen,” the team said.
Other projects by Dutch studio Concrete include a 69-story apartment tower in New Jersey made up of irregularly stacked blocks and featuring unusual amenities such as a residency program for scientists and artists.
The photograph is by Ewout Huibers.
Developer: CBSK Ironstate
Structural engineer: GACE Consulting Engineers
MEP engineer: GEA consulting engineers
Executive Landscape Architect: Twin Landscape & Construction
Facade brick: stone cycling