“Building Know-How: Skybridge” is the latest in a series of videos documenting the construction of JDS’s innovative residential projects, giving viewers an in-depth look at how the firm approaches design and building. This piece introduces the skybridge at 626 First Avenue in New York City, and explains the feats of engineering and planning that helped it take shape. The skybridge is the connection point between the two gleaming copper towers that look as though they’ve been caught in mid-dance. A temporary rope bridge was used while the skybridge was being built, allowing workers to access every bolt hole and weld in the massive structure. The skybridge is as practical as it is impressive: in addition to housing the towers’ shared fitness center, it allows for the transfer of electricity and condenser water between the two buildings.
In a conversation between Simon Koster from JDS Development Group and Greg Pasquarelli from SHoP Architects, the builder and designer discuss the motivations and challenges behind the design of the American Copper Buildings in New York City. These luxury rental apartments, consisting of two towers connected by an amenities-rich skybridge, are both beachy and urban, sitting on the edge of the East River—Manhattan's "Urban Coast." Despite various constraints, JDS and SHoP ensured that the values of sustainability, design and living were upheld throughout the design and construction of the American Copper Buildings, resulting in a truly unparalleled piece of architecture and residence.
In a conversation between Markus Wilmers from Buro Happold and Ayumi Sugiyama from SHoP Architects, the façade engineer and project architect discuss the many unique complications they faced when designing the skybridge and copper façade of the American Copper Buildings. The tricky part was making the luxury rental development look aesthetically sleek and simple when, in reality, there were endless complexities and restraints. The team overcame these challenges to see their vision of the American Copper Buildings through. These skybridge-linked residential towers will dazzle the city and forever transform the skyline with its ever evolving copper.
In a discussion between JDS Development Group’s Marci Clark and Scape Landscape Architecture’s Kate Orff, the historian and landscape architect discuss the history of the American Copper Building site, as well as their holistic approach to the landscaping and overall aesthetic of these luxury rental apartments. JDS and Scape aimed to re-embrace the East River waterfront, which has been lacking an architectural aesthetic for quite some time. By constructing public landscape amenities, JDS and Scape highlight the natural character of the space while also creating a sense of community. The American Copper Buildings represent a beautiful contribution to the city in every possible sense. It’s good business, and it’s good for the neighborhood.
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