One of the most interesting projects of the past few years—both from an architectural standpoint, and for real-estate gawkers—is the American Copper Buildings, the enormous Kips Bay rental designed by SHoP Architects and co-developed by JDS and Largo.
The transformation of the former First Avenue mud pit into the dual-tower structure that’s there today was gradual, but the results are stunning; the two twisty copper-clad buildings add visual interest to an otherwise architecturally uninteresting part of town. The skybridge that connects the two towers, and which holds the development’s 60,000 square feet of amenities, is a big part of that—it’s a stand-out feature, and the first skybridge that’s been added to a New York building in decades.
“When we were designing the two buildings, we could [have done] two typical amenity packages,” explains SHoP’s Gregg Pasquarelli, who recently toured the skybridge with Curbed. But instead, they decided to try something different—something that, in Pasquarelli’s words, could “make a community.”
Plus, “I always thought it would be cool if you could swim from one skyscraper to another,” he says with a laugh.
And thus, the skybridge was born. The tri-level space features a lounge on the top level, which is open to all residents and features space to work, play, and chill. It was furnished by design firm K&Co., and has the same elegant aesthetic found in the building’s apartments. Below that is Copper Tone, a health club operated by Palestra, that has a climbing wall, high-end fitness equipment, a hammam, a spa, and a juice bar—all of which have views of the Empire State Building. (“Not a bad way to inspire you to run,” Pasquarelli jokes.)
And Pasquarelli got his pool, which he says was inspired by the idea of an “urban beach,” with iconic skyline views on one side, and river views on the other.
The amenities opened to residents a few weeks ago, and while there’s a fee to use Copper Tone, Pasquarelli notes that the building’s market-rate residents (who can pay upwards of $8,000/month in rent) and those in its affordable apartments have the same access throughout. And while the skybridge is certainly the most eye-catching perk, it’s not the only one available to residents: The development also has a landscaped park on the ground level, and a roof deck is due to open sometime next year.