‘radio hotel and tower’ completes in new york
In Washington Heights, a neighborhood in the uppermost part of Manhattan, New York, Dutch studio MVRDV completes ‘Radio Hotel and Tower.’ The architecture takes shape as a stacked assemblage of colorful blocks, clad in eight different shades of glazed brick, and described by the design team as a ‘vertical village.’ A celebration of the neighborhood, the project introduces event space, offices, and 221 much-needed hotel rooms to the area.
With Stonehill Taylor as the architect of record, the project was designed for developer Youngwoo & Associates — who invested $300 million into the development. ‘For that investment we could have easily constructed a building in downtown Manhattan,’ says Margarette Lee, partner at Youngwoo & Associates.
images © Ossip van Duivenbode | @ossipvanduivenbode (unless otherwise stated)
learning from washington heights
Radio Hotel and Tower in New York expresses MVRDV’s consideration for the neighborhood and community at a range of scales. The blocks which make up the overall tower match the size of the neighboring buildings — this strategy lends a result which does not overwhelm its context, as might a slender glass skyscraper. What’s more, this stacking organization generates multiple outdoor roof terraces, each with thoughtfully curated views of Amsterdam Avenue and the city beyond.
The architects further celebrate the Dominican culture across Washington Heights, drawing the vibrant colors from local shopfronts to inform the building’s palette. While the brightest colors — bright green, yellow, blue, red, and orange — are found on the highest blocks, visitors at street level are met with more muted colors — plum, teal, and grey-brown.
‘We chose this location because we believe in the neighbourhood, and we have a chance here to have an impact,’ said Margarette Lee, partner at Youngwoo & Associates. ‘Seventy percent of the employees at the hotel and restaurant are from the neighbourhood; our presence here will result in a significant economic input to the community.’
a vibrant gathering space for the community
With Radio Hotel, MVRDV creates a vital hub for those traveling to New York for conferences hosted by the nearby Yeshiva University and the New York Presbyterian Hospital. The hotel’s interior design, curated by New York-based studio Workshop/APD, reflects the brightly-colored exteriors.
Alongside the hotel programming, the building hosts ground-level retail, and over 16,000 square meters (over 170,000 square feet) of office space. The twelfth floor — within the blue block — a dedicated event space dubbed ‘Above The Heights’ can host a range of gatherings including weddings, reunions, bar mitzvahs, or quinceañeras. This event space opens out onto a dedicated rooftop terrace with sweeping views toward the city.
Radio Hotel and Tower is clad in eight different colors of glazed brick
MVRDV draws colors from the local shopfronts
a stack of smaller blocks, the large building does not overwhelm the neighborhood