Manhattan West,
New York, USA

By preserving openness and supporting easy permeable connections to and from nearby major transport hubs, light supports a thriving retail environment and creates opportunities for social interaction, while celebrating the sculptural qualities of the architecture with a high-impact external image.
Client
Brookfield Properties
Date
2015 - 2023
Architect
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)
Landscape Architect
Field Operations
Lighting Implementation (Stages 4-6)
Jaros, Baum & Bolles
Photographer
Dave Burk © SOM, Dave Morris
 
Project Team
Mark Major, Carrie Donahue Bremner, Dave Morris, Martin Fiera Alessandri

The lobby space of One Manhattan West (North Tower) is defined by a solid sculptural core. A combination of up and downlighting expresses its colour, texture, and monolithic character, drawing the eye past the ethereal sheets of glazing that form the outer envelope. 


Lighting concealed in the ceiling is carefully directed inside and outside to ensure the continuity of the ground plane, minimising the risk of reflections and helping dissolve the glass after dark. A warmer tone of light reveals the colour and texture of the rear timber wall, playing up the material contrast with the core's cooler stone.

Our approach to lighting for these spaces is focused on celebrating the unique architecture and materiality of each lobby while preserving a sense of openness and transparency after dark.”

Located at the northeast and southeast corners of the site, the triple-height, transparent lobbies act as an extension of the central plaza, with views through to and from Ninth Avenue. Our approach to lighting for these spaces is focused on celebrating the unique architecture and materiality of each lobby while preserving a sense of openness and transparency after dark.

In a similar approach, the timber core of Two Manhattan West (South tower) is washed with light that draws the eye and brings out its warmth and grain.


The outer envelope of Two Manhattan West features curved metal structural columns that frame large expanses of glazing. The unusual geometry and material of the columns required careful design and mock-ups to ensure the lit effect we wanted was achieved from all angles of view without creating spill light that might affect the transparency of the glazing. 


Public Realm

The primary public open space is an elevated 2-acre plaza at the centre of the development, built over train tracks leading to Moynihan Train Hall and Pennsylvania Station. As night falls, light directs pedestrians along routes adjacent to retail units on either side of the plaza. In between the raised sculptural planters, textured light cast through the leaves of the trees highlight the pockets of seating. Lawn areas above are left darker, creating a sense of enclosure for these social areas, while uplighting to the trees frames the spaces from above.

Approaching the junction with the Dyer overpass, the central plaza houses a large open event space, lit flexibly from columns that can accommodate year-round programming. 


The overpass slopes from West 33rd down towards the new Moynihan Connector bridge leading to the High Line, its topography revealed by underlighting of the raised planter beds. Further light is integrated within seating adjacent to the retail outlets, with an LED screen integrated neatly within the building façade.