New York’s Zaha Hadid Residence a Palace of Curves and Style

As her first project In New York and one of her last before her unexpected death, Zaha Hadid’s design for 520 West 28th Street is a very special building — a melding of art and architecture. Besides being a stunning work of architecture, the building sits in a prime location along the city’s High Line, which is a 1.5-mile-long elevated park on a former railroad track. The multi-leveled design reflects the varied layers of life in the surrounding areas.

Not surprisingly, the design is identifiable as Hadid’s signature style. “It’s sculpture inhabited,” Tiago Correia, the U.S. director of Zaha Hadid Architects, told Architectural Digest. The acclaimed architect was a groundbreaking female global design star and had been called the “Queen of the curve,” for her sinuous designs, most of which eschew straight lines and hard angles.

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Although the design is a zig zag, it is an organic one, melding with the various levels.

Hadid’s design for the New York City residential building features split levels that are defined by a framework that resembles interlocking chevrons. The face is hand-crafted from 900 steel panels in an homage to the Chelsea neighborhood’s industrial past and New York’s architectural  history. The blackened finish was achieved with a special antiquing process that involves orbital brushing and hand tinting, helping the building blend with its surroundings.

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The intriguing split-level design is the architects’ “urban layering” concept that goes against the traditional concept of a building’s floors. The zig zag bends and curves along the edges and terraces, wrapping around and linking the floors.

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Convex and concave glass curves help define the design.

The design and construction of the 11-storey residential building displays an expert knowledge of materials, how they are manufactured, and the feelings they convey to residents as well as outside observers. The exterior of the L-shaped structure is brushed and tinted by hand in an effort to help it complement the other structures that make up the neighborhood along the High Line. The floor plates dominate the building, slicing across the glassy facade, morphing into the next one where the sections merge and the levels diverge. The metal design also protrudes from the building to shape the balconies that drive along the building and offer views of the high Line and beyond.

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The futuristic design is fluid and nontraditional.

This view of the rounded corners and curved glass sections exemplifies the feeling of fluidity that Hadid’s designs incorporate.  This comes from the glass windows, carved metal, and glass barrier on the balcony. In fact, the the convex and concave curves n the design presented special challenges that required a variety of different glazing manufacturing processes that yielded slightly different results.

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The curving elements of the zig-zag soften the design and are a hallmark of Hadid’s designs.

Inside the building has only 39 spectacular residences that feature a futuristic design and 11-foot coffered ceilings. Interiors include Boffi kitchens by Zaha Hadid Design and the latest technologies that are integrated into the building and the apartments, including automated valet parking and storage. Moreover, the design makes use of many cores that allow most residents to have private entrance lobbies.

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The entrance of the building is a double-height lobby and amenities include communal spaces, an outdoor garden, and entertainment space with IMAX theater, along with playrooms. The indoor pool is reported to have a water feature and skylight to allow natural light brighten the 75-foot saline-system swimming pool.

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The 39 residences are available in sizes from two to five bedrooms, and prices start at $4.95 million. The building is capped with a triplex penthouse that was listed for $50 million.

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Hadid’s distinctive buildings have redefined skylines across the globe. This artful building is a beacon among the rectangular skyscrapers that populate most of New York City. It is a fitting design for the High Line neighborhood, which encompasses more than 350 art galleries, including the renowned Whitney Museum at the trail’s end.