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Great Pyramid of Hell's Kitchen Formally Unveiled, Going Rental

[Renderings by Bjarke Ingels Group.]

The worst-kept secret in New York City architecture is finally out. After comic book readers and Harvard students got glimpses of rising Dutch Danish superstar Bjarke Ingels's pyramid-like apartment building planned on far West 57th Street, the 36-year-old Rem Koolhaas disciple is ready to introduce his magical mystery mountain to the people who might one day live inside it. The full reveal is on the Bjarke Ingels Group website (check out a dozen renderings in the gallery above), and Ingels is profiled by Justin Davidson in this week's New York magazine, which both grows the myth surrounding the hipstertect and reveals many of the details behind the high-rise set to go up next to the West Side Highway.

The pyramid or mountain or whatever you'd like to call it will be a rental building (if approved; the first community board hearing is Wednesday), one that revolutionizes the hack-filled genre, Davidson writes. Ingels has talked about the project being a combination of a Copenhagen courtyard with a New York skyscraper, and here's more on that:

The new building, he explains, will fuse two apparently incompatible types: a European-style, low-rise apartment block encircling a courtyard, and a Manhattan tower-on-a-podium, yielding something that looks like neither and behaves like both. New York is ready to embrace such a griffin, he insists: “This is the country that invented surf and turf! To put a lobster on a steak—any French chef would tell you that’s a crime.”But it looks like this dinner won't have all the fixins. The sloped rooftop's plantings, seen in the early comic-style rendering, don't appear to have made the final cut, but the garden gap and balcony incisions certainly did. And don't think Ingels is just cramming some craziness into this long-empty lot without considering its environment. The greenery is a visual connection to Hudson River Park, and the building's shape helps create and preserve some excellent views while pulling back from the noisy West Side Highway and nearby sanitation garage. Oh, and isolated neighbors (lookin' at you, Riverside South) take note: The renderings also show an Amish Market in one of the retail spaces. So how did Ingels, largely unknown in this country, land a 450' tower developed by the risk-averse Durst Organization? According to the legend, after Douglas Durst spoke at a Copenhagen conference about sustainable design, the daring Dane approached him and said, "Why do all your buildings look like buildings?" And for his insolence he was drawn and quartered hired! So let that be a lesson to you, aspiring young starchitects: The best way to impress a potential client is to insult him to his face.
· Pyramid Scheme [NYM]
· Bjarke Ingels coverage [Curbed]