If you talk to a Manhattan developer you might hear them say, “Why grow out when you can grow up?” Manhattan in known for their high-in-the-sky skyscrapers and developers keep building higher and higher. Tall is power and tall is king when it comes to buildings in big cities.
Many of the city’s most high-profile developments like the Empire State Building and Central Park Tower all exceed the 984-foot limit that takes a building from tall to “supertall." New York has yet to build anything higher than the One World Trade Center which shoots 1,968 feet into the sky.
While developers want to go higher and higher, residents don’t always agree. Many New York residents have been actively fighting against the buildings that are currently being built along 57th Street and Central Park South. They worry that the giant buildings will casts shadow over their beloved Central Park.
So, how many skyscrapers does New York currently have? Right now there 24. This number includes buildings that are either completed and also those under construction or in the proposal or development phases.
And while engineers have created unbelievable buildings in that past that soar high into the clouds, there is a new building that is in talks that is throwing everyone for a loop. And that is because it is shaped like a loop.
Plans have officially been released for the world’s first U-shaped skyscraper. Greek architect Ioannis Oikonomou hopes to break a new kind of record with this unique design. Move over Big Ben and make room for the Big Bend.
The Big Bend will join the many other towering buildings in The Big Apple. The design of the Big Bend is a super-tall and skinny skyscraper that is bent in half. If you were to measure from one end of the U to the other, the building would be approximately 4,000 feet long.
From the sidewalk to the building's peak, it would also be 200 feet taller than One World Trade Center, which would make it the largest in the city. This building will break more records than just one. Not only will it be the first U-shaped building in the world it will also be the longest. This will make Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, currently in first place, fall to second.
New York has never dealt with a U-shaped building before. Because of this, the developers may dodge some of the zoning limitations that they usually run into. They are no longer thinking just about how high the building is, but also how long.
Oikonomou believes that the building’s unique shape will help them when it is time to get investors and also when it is time to actually build it:
“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? What if our buildings were long instead of tall?”
Oikonomou told Business Insider he has sent the design to a few developers, and he is currently seeking investment. The residential building would be located on the south side of Central Park in an area that is known as "Billionaire's Row" because of its many luxury skyscrapers. “If we manage to bend our structure instead of bending the zoning rules of New York we would be able to create one of the most prestigious buildings in Manhattan,” Oiio Studio wrote on their website.
Oikonomou is confident that plans for the Big Bend will move forward. He explains that developers will do anything they can to get a better return on investment and because of this building’s design, they will do just fine. The building doesn’t take up a lot of space, and the amount of people it holds who will pay mortgages or rent guarantees that there is money to be made.
Oikonomou references the recent trend of people buying condos and using them not to live in, but to rent out. “The Big Bend has been created, among other things, in order to emphasize the fact that New York has become a giant hotel. The Big Bend would ensure maximum profit for its investors, even if its apartments are inhabited only for some days every year."
So, who wants to live in a building that is shaped like a roller coaster? Sign me up, please!