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New supertall Manhattan tower features wraparound green terraces

Biophilic Design

New supertall Manhattan tower features wraparound green terraces

The 66-story building offers an outdoor terrace on each floor—about 13,000 sf of outdoor space.


By Novid Parsi, Contributing Editor | January 16, 2024
The Spiral, a sustainable biophilic high-rise with wraparound green terraces
The Spiral in Manhattan, named the “world’s best tall building in its category” by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Photo © Laurian Ghinitoiu, courtesy BIG

At 66 stories and 1,031.5 ft high, The Spiral is BIG’s first supertall building and first commercial high-rise in New York. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat recently named The Spiral the world’s best tall building in its category.

Located beside the elevated High Line on Manhattan’s west side, the 2.8-million-sf building gradually narrows as it rises. This stepping motif evokes the aesthetics of classic Manhattan skyscrapers like the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center, as well as the slender, efficient proportions of a modern high-rise.

The Spiral: Modern High-Rise with Green Terraces

The Spiral offers about 13,000 sf of outdoor space—which hasn’t before been installed at or above 300 ft elevation in New York City, according to BIG.

Each floor of the building opens to the outdoors. The outdoor terraces form a ribbon of greenery that spiral around the building, “extending the High Line to the skyline,” Bjark Ingels, founder and creative director, BIG, said in a statement. The terraces feature plants specific to the light, wind, and temperature conditions of each floor. The building’s water management system collects overflow rainwater for the tiered landscaping, saving millions of gallons of water annually.

The Spiral aerial view
Photo © Laurian Ghinitoiu, courtesy BIG

To support connection to the outdoors as well as foliage inside The Spiral, the building has a generous ceiling height and a specially selected exterior glass coating to allow natural light. Some floors have a double-height amenity space and the option to connect adjacent floors via a grand staircase. The 66th floor offers a clubhouse with a private lounge and open-air terrace.

Nodding to the area’s industrial history, The Spiral’s spacious lobby incorporates seven metals, with floor panels measured to the same dimensions of the precast concrete planks on the High Line.

On the Building Team:
Developer: Tishman Speyer
Design architect: BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group)
Architect of record: Adamson Associates
MEP engineer: Cosentini
Structural engineer: WSP Cantor Seinuk
Contractor: Turner Construction

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