Could this bendy skyscraper take shape in New York?

Can Manhattanites bear another super-scraper? Architects Oiio think so if the idea is original enough
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The Big Bend, Manhattan proposal - Oiio
The Big Bend, Manhattan proposal - Oiio

Can Manhattanites bear the thought of another super-scraper? Architects Oiio think they can, if the idea is original enough. Hence their proposal for a stretched arch that doubles as a skyscraper. The architects are dubbing it the Big Bend, though if it were realized it would more likely be known as the Paperclip or perhaps the Hairpin.

They say it would be 1230m ‘long’, and would touch down at two different points along 57th street. The arch itself would house deluxe apartments. The design is intended to highlight real-estate companies who exploit a planning law that allows them to buy air rights from neighbouring buildings. The upshot has been ever taller structures on bijou plots.

 

The Big Bend, Manhattan proposal - Oiio
The Big Bend, Manhattan proposal - Oiio

The firm’s founder Ioannis Oikonomou justifies the design like this: “New York city’s zoning laws have created a peculiar set of tricks through which developers try to maximize their property’s height, in order to infuse it with the prestige of a high-rise structure. But what if we substituted height with length?”

However, the New York and Athens-based firm are bending the rules as well as the building, surely, by measuring its length instead of its height. Our estimate is that it would top out at around 600m, making it the tallest structure on so-called ‘billionaires’ row’. It would outdo Christian de Portzamparc‘s relatively squat One57 tower - a mere 306m - and 432 Park Avenue by Rafael Viñoly, which is 436m tall.

 

The Big Bend, Manhattan proposal - Oiio
The Big Bend, Manhattan proposal - Oiio

Probably best to think of Oiio’s lofty intentions as aesthetically admirable and something fun to feast the eyes on, rather than a serious contender. However, there are plenty of buildings equally deserving of a detour or a trip in their own right and we've gathered them all together in a new book Destination Architecture, available to pre-order in the store now. It's the best way to get more out of your next city break or holiday.


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