Via 57 West, Danish architect/designer Bjarke Ingels’s first project in New York, combines structurally dynamic design with forward-thinking function. The residential building, at the foot of 57th Street at the Hudson, is a welcome departure from the cold, monolithic purgatory that is midtown. The pyramid-shaped (more accurately, hyperbolic paraboloid) building’s sloping roof is made of supposedly indestructible bead-blasted stainless steel to play stunning light tricks. While Via 57 West looks different from various angles, it mimics a regal mainsail when seen from the Hudson or approaching from down the West Side Highway. If you’re standing right next to it, it just looks like a shiny new building you can’t afford to rent in. A 22,000-foot courtyard graces the center of the space, and there isn’t a bad seat in the house: While many of the apartments have private terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows, every rental has at least a sliver of the river in view.
625 West 57th Street, Manhattan