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First look at MVRDV’s colorful Washington Heights mixed-use development

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This is the Dutch firm’s first major project in the United States

Courtesy MVRDV

Work is now underway on MVRDV’s first major project in the United States. Developer Youngwoo & Associates broke ground today on the 22-story building in Washington Heights that’s now going by the name of Radio Tower & Hotel.

Located at 2420 Amsterdam Avenue, the building will feature a mix of hotel rooms, office space, and retail. The project was first announced in the summer of 2016, and replaces a gas station in the neighborhood. The announcement of the groundbreaking is accompanied by several new renderings that show off the colorful, stacked tower, which is sure to stand out in the neighborhood when it is complete.

The building’s design, particularly the colors and the massing, are meant to reflect the surrounding buildings and the neighborhood overall. While the stacks all appear as different structures, they are interconnected, and each stack will be roughly the same size as a neighboring building. The colors of each block are inspired by the vibrant storefronts in the neighborhood. The entire structure will be clad in ceramic brick.

Youngwoo & Associates are hopeful that the hotel portion of the building will serve as a hub for those traveling to conferences at the nearby Yeshiva University and New York Presbyterian Hospital.

The blue portion of the structure will be an event space, and boast lovely NYC views from the adjacent terraces. In addition, MVRDV has also designed a ground-level courtyard space, that will be open to the public and have a coffee shop and community garden.

“The building forms a ‘vertical village’ with blocks that are the same size as the surrounding buildings, thus avoiding the common drawback of large developments in which new skyscrapers overwhelm the existing character of the city,” said Winy Maas, the principal and co-founder of MVRDV, in a statement. “It will be a colorful, welcoming beacon for people entering Manhattan.”

MVRDV is collaborating with executive architect Stonehill Taylor and Workshop APD for interiors. Construction on this mixed-use development is expected to wrap sometime in 2021.