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MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful "vertical village" in upper Manhattan

United States Architecture News - Oct 10, 2022 - 14:55   1052 views

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

Dutch architecture firm MVRDV has completed its first US project in upper Manhattan, comprised of a stack of colorful volumes on top of each other. 

Named Radio Hotel and Tower, the 27,200-square-metre mixed-use tower consists of a hotel, offices, hospitality amenities and event spaces, becoming a new landmark in New York’s Washington Heights neighbourhood in the United States

Designed for developer YoungWoo & Associates, the project is the first completed building by Dutch firm MVRDV in the United States. New York firm Stonehill Taylor served as the architect of record in the project. 

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV created a building that features a dramatic impact on the skyline of upper Manhattan, and according to the firm, "its design responds sensitively to the neighbourhood and adds much-needed hotel, office, and hospitality amenities that were missing."

The studio clads the stack of blocks in eight different colours of glazed brick to create a distinctive design that matches the size of the buildings in the immediate context.

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

"This design approach creates a vertical village so that the building does not overwhelm the surroundings, as is so often the case when individual buildings are larger than their neighbours," said MVRDV

"The stacked shape has the added benefit of providing multiple outdoor terraces, with every block having its own outdoor space on the roof of the block below."

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

The color palette of the building references to the shopfronts of the vibrant neighbourhood to become part of the city. While upper blocks are designed with the brightest colours - such as bright green, yellow, blue, red, and orange, lower blocks are covered with more muted colours such as plum, teal, and grey-brown - to greet visitors at street level.

"Washington Heights has a unique and exciting character, very different from the other Manhattan neighbourhoods further south," said MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas. 

"The design of Radio Hotel and Tower is inspired by that character – we took the smaller blocks that are typical in the neighbourhood and stacked them into a vertical village." 

"Add to that the bright colours that you see all around the area, and the project is like a beacon celebrating this part of the city," Maas added.

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

Inside, the 221-room Radio Hotel will serve as an important hub for those travelling for conferences hosted by the Yeshiva University and the New York Presbyterian Hospital, both of which are located nearby. 

The interior design of the hotel, completed by New York firm Workshop APD, complements the exterior design, matching the brightly-coloured bathrooms to the colours of the blocks. 

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

On the ground level, there are retail units, and over 16,000-square-metre of office space. 

On the 12th floor, in the blue block, is Above The Heights, a dedicated event space suitable for everything from weddings and reunions to bar mitzvahs and quinceañeras, with the adjacent rooftop terrace boasting spectacular views of Manhattan.

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

"We put 300 million dollars into developing Radio Hotel and Tower – for that investment we could have easily constructed a building in downtown Manhattan," said Margarette Lee, partner at Youngwoo & Associates. 

"We chose this location because we believe in the neighbourhood, and we have a chance here to have an impact. Seventy percent of the employees at the hotel and restaurant are from the neighbourhood; our presence here will result in a significant economic input to the community," Lee added.

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

The building also hosts a range of facilities for food and entertainment, including Jalao NYC, which celebrates the neighbourhood’s local Dominican culture. 

The first US outpost of the popular Santo Domingo restaurant, Jalao NYC was created by a collaboration between Richard Sandoval Hospitality and Jalao founder Antonio Espaillat. Just beyond the restaurant at ground level, the hotel also features a 750-square-metre courtyard with a garden and ample outdoor seating, which is a hub of live music and activity for the hotel.

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

Bringing a jolt of electric energy to an often-overlooked part of Manhattan, Radio Hotel and Tower addresses Washington Heights’ pressing lack of hotel rooms. 

It celebrates the area’s community, furthering the urban qualities of the surroundings without departing from the already-existing urban character. 

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

And of course, it creates a landmark that brings attention to the neighbourhood; already this new addition has attracted praise and interest, with Time Out New York writing “suddenly we’re itching for a staycation way, way uptown”.

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

Ground floor plan

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

Floor plan level 5

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

Floor plan level 12

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

Floor plan level 14

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

Floor plan level 22

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

Concept diagram

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

Color concept diagram

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

Color reference diagram

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

Axonometric diagram

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

Concept diagram, urban axonometric

MVRDV completes its first US project, colourful

Concept diagram, urban axonometric

Project facts

Project Name: Radio Hotel and Tower
Location: 2420 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, USA
Year: 2022
Client: YoungWoo & Associates
Programme & Size: 27,200m2 mixed-use hotel, offices, hospitality, and event spaces

Architect: MVRDV
Principal-in-charge: Winy Maas
Partner: Frans de Witte
Design team: Fedor Bron, Mick van Gemert, Mark van den Ouden, Samuel Delgado, Ronald Kam, Fouad Addou, Daniele Zonta, Yassin Matni, Giuseppe Carosini and Giuseppe Campo Antico
Visualizations: Antonio Luca Coco, Kirill Emelianov

Executive architect: Stonehill Taylor Architects 

Interior design: WORKSHOP APD
Hotel Management: Sightline Hospitality
Building Systems: Cosentini Associates
Structural Engineer: GACE consulting engineers dpc 

Façade Engineer: CANY Technical Services, LCC 

Geotechnical Engineer: Langan Engineering

Civil Engineer: AKRF

All images © Ossip van Duivenbode

All drawings © MVRDV.

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