SHoP’s American Copper Buildings bring leisure and luxury to Manhattan

The American Copper Buildings – a soaring pair of copper-clad luxury rental towers linked by a three-story skybridge 300ft (91.4m) in the air – have welcomed their first residents in New York.

The project – a collaboration between JDS Development Group and SHoP Architects – is located at 626 First Avenue along Manhattan’s East River waterfront.

The angled silhouettes maximise views of the river and surrounding landmarks such as the Empire State Building, and give the towers a “dancing” appearance from a distance.

Clad in 4.25 million pounds of raw copper that will turn green over time, the 41- and 48-story structures offer a total of 761 residences, ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments with over 300 unique layouts.

Residents will have access to more than 60,000sq ft (5,500sq m) of amenities. Many of these are housed in the dramatic 100ft (30.4m) long suspended skybridge. Here, a there is a 75ft (22.8m) indoor lap pool, a Whirlpool hot tub, a fully furnished residents’ bar and a lounge.

Adjacent to the skybridge are a double-height fitness centre managed by La Palestra with a rock-climbing wall; a Turkish-style marble hammam with plunge pool, yoga and dynamic movement studios; a private spa with treatment rooms; a catering kitchen and juice bar; a flexible studio space; and a children’s playroom. The rooftop of the East Tower features an infinity-edge swimming pool with outdoor shower, a landscaped sky bar, an open-air lounge and dining and grilling areas. A new landscaped park surrounds the property.

“The project is a marvel, from its design to its engineering and construction,” said Michael Stern, founder and managing partner of JDS. “For tenants, it offers a lifestyle of luxury and convenience that cannot be found elsewhere.”

Such a lifestyle comes with a hefty price tag, with current pricing beginning at US$3,200 (€3,000, £2,400) per month for studios, US$4,500 (€4,200, £3,300) for one-bedroom residences and US$6,650 (€6,200, £5,300) per month for two-bedrooms residences.

Coren Sharples, one of the founding principals of SHoP Architects, recently told CLAD that including a wealth of leisure amenities is the future for private developments.

She argued the addition of leisure spaces, often publicly accessible, to offices and private residences is “now actually seen as a draw” for developers.

“People come to cities not just to live and work, but also to play, and leisure plays an enormous part in that,” she said. “They want and expect culture, sports, entertainment, music and food.

“I think society has moved away from the ‘work from 9 to 5 and live from to 5 to 9’ environment. Partly that’s due to digital media, which can create a seamless divide between living and working. We expect the same thing in our physical environment.

“More and more of what we’re seeing at SHoP in our commercial and residential projects is that dedicated spaces, whether dwelling units or workspaces, are shrinking and becoming more economical. At the same time, they’re being replaced by leisure amenities.”

The practice is currently working on similarly high-profile and bold mixed-use schemes in Detroit and Melbourne.

SHoP Architects  American Copper Buildings  New York  Manhattan  East River  JDS Development Group  architecture  design 
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The American Copper Buildings – a soaring pair of copper-clad luxury rental towers linked by a three-story skybridge 300ft (91.4m) in the air – have welcomed their first residents in New York. The project – a collaboration between JDS Development Group and SHoP Architects – is located at 626 First Avenue along Manhattan’s East River waterfront. The angled silhouettes maximise views of the river and surrounding landmarks such as the
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