In a city renowned for its towering skyscrapers, The Spiral by BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) has claimed the coveted title of “Best Tall Building” by The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat at its annual conference. The breathtaking architectural marvel, designed by BIG in collaboration with Adamson Associates and structural engineer WSP Cantor Seinuk, is not only a visual spectacle but a sustainable triumph for the city of New York.
Rising to a majestic height of 1,031.5 feet, The Spiral stands as a contemporary symbol of innovation, sustainability, and aesthetic excellence. This commercial high-rise, developed by Tishman Speyer and constructed by Turner, is not just an office building but an oasis for nature enthusiasts and urban explorers.
One of The Spiral’s most distinctive features is its integration with the surrounding environment. The building visually extends the lush landscape of the nearby High Line Park up and around its exterior, offering access to green outdoor terraces from each of its 66 stories. This approach seamlessly fuses the urban and natural worlds, creating an unprecedented harmony within the cityscape.
The tower’s glass panel façade, reminiscent of a conservatory, draws attention from street level. Passersby are treated to glimpses of the bright and spacious lobby adorned with artwork by Dutch studio DRIFT and lush foliage. This lobby design pays homage to the area’s industrial history, incorporating seven different metals to honor the surroundings. The meticulous design extends even to the lobby floor, with panels matching the dimensions of the precast concrete planks spanning the High Line.
The Spiral’s design philosophy takes inspiration from classic Manhattan skyscrapers like the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center. It combines traditional aesthetics with modern materials and detailing to create a slender, contemporary masterpiece that graces the New York skyline.
One of the most remarkable features of The Spiral is its cascading landscaped terraces and hanging gardens that spiral upwards, creating a continuous green ribbon around the building’s façade. This innovative approach brings nature to new heights in the city, with approximately 13,000 square feet of outdoor space. Most of the plant species on the ground cover are native to the American prairie, designed to withstand high winds and droughts. The greenery becomes increasingly lush as the building rises, culminating in trees that flower as early as February and vertical trellises with English and Boston ivy that keep their leaves through the winter.
Beyond its aesthetic appeal, The Spiral offers practical advantages. Each floor’s accessible terrace provides stunning views over Manhattan, the Hudson River, and New Jersey. Some floors offer double-height amenity spaces, and grand staircases encourage interaction among colleagues, offering an alternative to elevators. The 66th floor even houses The Spiral’s exclusive ZO Clubhouse, a private space for people to gather, connect, and enjoy the open-air terrace.
The building’s interior is designed to integrate seamlessly with nature. A generous ceiling height and specially selected exterior glass coating allow natural light to flood the space, enhancing the connection to the outdoors. The water management system is another testament to sustainability. It collects overflow rainwater to treat and redistribute throughout the tiered landscaping, saving millions of gallons of water annually.
Incorporating nature into the workplace and adapting to the changing needs of its occupants, The Spiral sets a new standard for modern, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing office environments. As the first completed supertall by BIG and the first completed commercial high-rise in New York, The Spiral demonstrates the city’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of architectural and environmental excellence.
Architects: Bjarke Ingels Group – www.big.dk
Area: 2800000 ft²
Photographs: Laurian Ghinitoiu
Partners In Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Daniel Sundlin
Technical Director: Douglass Alligood
Project Leader: Dominyka Voelkle
Project Team: Adrien Mans, Agla Egilsdottir, Ali Chen, Alvaro Velosa, Andreas Buettner, Andrew Lee, Anton Bashkaev, Armen Menendian, Beat Schenk, Benjamin Caldwell, Bernardo Schuhmacher, Cadence Bayley, Carolien Schippers, Cheyenne Vandevoorde, Christopher David White, Christopher Tron, David Brown, Davide Maggio, Deborah Campbell, Denys Kozak, Dong-Joo Kim, Erin Yook, Florencia Kratsman, Francesca Portesine, Gabriel Jewell-Vitale, Gabriella Den Elzen, Gaurav Sardana, Giulia Frittoli, Haochen Yu, Hung-Kai Liao, Ibrahim Salman, Jack Lipson, Jan Casimir, Jan Leenknegt, Janice Rim, Janie Louise Green, Jennifer Wood, Joshua Burns, Josiah Poland, Juan David Ramirez, Julie Kaufman, Kurt Nieminen, Lisbet Fritze Trentemøller, Lucio Santos, Luke Lu, Mackenzie Keith, Margaret Tyrpa, Maria Eugenia Dominguez, Martynas Norvila, Mateusz Rek, Maureen Rahman, Megan Van Artsdalen, Michael Zhang, Nicholas Potts, Otilia Pupezeanu, Phawin Siripong, Rachel Coulomb, Ruo Wang, Ryan Duval, Sang Ha Jung, Seo Young Shin, Simon Lee, Terrence Chew, Thea Gasseholm, Thomas Christoffersen, Tracy Sodder, Veronica Acosta. Veronica Moretti, Wells Barber, Will Fu, Yaziel Juarbe, Yenhsi Tung, Zoltan David Kalaszi
Big Landscape: Emily Chen, Giulia Frittoli, Joseph Kuhn, Kathleen Cella, Kelly Neill, Lou Arencibia, Manon Otto, Marcus Wilford, Matteo Gawlak, Matthew Lau, Morgan Mangelsen, Simon David, Tony-Saba Shiber, Varat Limwibul
Client: Tishman Speyer
Collaborators: Adamson Associates, Turner Construction, WSP Cantor Seinuk, Cosentini, Langan, Edgett Williams Consulting Group, Thornton Tomasetti, Heintges, Vidaris, Entek Engineering, FMS, Pandiscio, Doyle Partners, Squint Opera, Siteworks, Northern Design, Space Copenhagen, Michaelis Boyd, Studio Drift, Banker Steel, Roger & Sons, Permasteelisa, CMI, Vitrocsa, W+ W, Top Shelf Electric, Otis, National, Bamco, Garcia, Jacobson & Company, Cooper Plastering, Sponzilli, JBB, BIG Landscape, BIG Ideas
City: New York
Country: United States