The West Residence, Manhattan / concrete

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The West Residence is a unique residential building, with loft-type apartments designed in an up-cycled brick base, and penthouse-like apartments located in the cloud, and the open and bright top of the building exploiting views over the Hudson River and the cosmopolite New York skyline.

Housing 222 apartments, The West Residence Club opened its doors in the spring of 2022. Concrete is responsible for the architecture, interior, and landscape design of the project.

The West Residence Club is located in Hell’s Kitchen, one of Manhattan’s most sprouting neighbourhoods. The neighbourhood is known for its industrial character, as well as its rich, colourful history, combining to create an unmistakable mystique. Today, it offers varied urban architecture, from brick warehouses and low-rise showrooms, to open parking lots and original townhouses. Its unique mix of residences, companies, independent shops, and small restaurants has made it a very dynamic neighbourhood.

The West Residence Club is designed for explorers who want to live in a building that reflects the unpolished history and character of the Hell’s Kitchen district. It introduces a new way of living; its condos – a mix of studios, 1 and 2+ 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 adjacent streets. The super light and airy apartments on the top floors are designed to make the most of views offered over the Manhattan Skyline and the Hudson River.

The U-shaped building stretches along 11th Avenue, from the corners of 47th Street and 48th Street. 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 Residence Club in collaboration with upcycling company StoneCycling. The brickwork, combined with large industrial windows, results in the creation of 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 embedded in green that encompass a central tree.

Higher up in the building, it is all about the cosmopolitan life that New York is famous for, with views overlooking New York’s iconic skyline and sunsets over the Hudson River. Glass boxes pop in and out of the building, creating unique views and orientations in each apartment, and providing 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 amenities at 547 West 47th Street bring the residents together to form a thriving community known as The West Residence Club. It includes specific areas to work, a glass house in the backyard, a double-height gym, a playroom for kids, and two in-house hotel-style guest rooms that can be booked for visitors. The 8th-floor roof deck accommodates a rooftop field and pocket park including a dog run, an outdoor kitchen, and an indoor communal kitchen and dining space. On the top roof, an extensive pool deck is combined with BBQ pits and communal seating areas under a wooden pergola to enjoy the sunset and extensive views over the Hudson River and Midtown Manhattan Skyline.

All of these spaces are created to enhance comfort, facilitate functionalities for residents, and foster interaction between them. The design also involved a special focus on dedicated workspaces to facilitate working from home, including a full glass greenhouse in the garden filled with bookshelves, a fireplace, and a large worktable. There are also two meeting/working rooms stacked with office supplies and equipment. Interaction between residents is further fueled by a communal kitchen and dining room.

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 a 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 upcycled bricks. The brick matrix itself is a proprietary mix of recovered construction debris blended with raw clay quarried in The Netherlands. Over 260,000 kg of waste has been up-cycled in the bricks used in this building. A total of forty 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. The unique glass glaze creates a variety of shades and glossiness during the day, resulting in a different read of the building every time one sees it.

This complex process is just one example of the perfectionist approach applied to architecture and the interior. All efforts are dedicated to creating a building that pays tribute to its location, and creates a memorable and unique experience for its residents.

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