Daniel Burnham, the architect of some of the world’s first skyscrapers, once said “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized.” The developers of Hudson Yards, an entire new neighborhood rising on the West Side of Manhattan, have taken Burnham’s words to heart.
Faced with the task of realizing their dream without first knocking anything down, the Hudson Yards team came up with a novel solution. Said to be the largest private development project in U.S. history, it will be a floating city hovering above the Long Island Railroad’s West Side yard on a super-strong platform supported by 300 concrete-sleeved steel caissons inserted 40-80 feet deep into the bedrock.
Using techniques borrowed from bridge building, those caissons will hold up a slab that supports six skyscrapers with room for 65,000 residents, 100 shops, 20 restaurants, a school and 14 acres of parks. Fortunately, the builders of the rail yard in the 1980s realized the space above the 30 tracks along with various storage and maintenance sheds would be prime for redevelopment and left a gap around the edges of the yard just big enough for structural members to be installed without interrupting traffic.
When completed in 2024, Hudson Yards will connect with the 1.5 mile long High Line Park that transforms an abandoned elevated rail line on the West Side of Manhattan into a new urban green space. A project so bold and vast in scale would surely make Daniel Burnham proud.
Hudson Yards Going Up
Source | Images: Gizmodo.