Hudson Yards: «today’s city of the future»

Hudson Yards is said to not be a city for everyone, but only for people with great financial opportunities. It is called the «billionaire’s fantasy of the future of city life» and positioned as a city of development.

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Hudson Yards is just a small area in Manhattan in 42th and 43th Streets. Manhattan is a small island of 52 sq.m. only, the historical center of New York. This is one of the smallest and most densely populated places in New York. Once upon a time, this island was bought from the Indians for $500, and now it is estimated at more than $50 billion.

               Back in 2001, there was an idea to create a development program that would transform the Hudson Yards into an upgraded, comfortable structure meeting the needs of a fast-growing city.

Since earlier, in this area, there were railroads leading to the main station of New York, the components of the program included the following items:

  1. Re-zoning: from the industrial sector to commercial and residential ones.
  2. Continuation of the subway line.
  3. Complex building: 2 million sq. m. of the new office space, 20000 residential apartments, over 600000 sq.m. of retail space, over 900,000 sq.m. of hotel areas.
  4. Creation of parks and public spaces.

The works started being implemented in 2005. It was planned to build 16 skyscrapers on a specially designed platform at the site of the subway station. The Hudson Yards project is a reconstruction of the industrial area: creating an elite commercial and residential space without ruining the transport hub. This experience will become relevant for reconstruction in many cities.

Stephen M. Ross, the owner of Hudson Yards, says that by 2040, 70-80% of the population will live in cities. This prompted him to build a city inside the city. Many well-known companies and promising architects worked on this project: KPF, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Rockwell Group, SOM, Thomas Hezerwick, David Childs, Tony Ingrao, Foster + Partners, Elkus Manfredi Architects etс.

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The Hudson Yards was divided into two sections – the Eastern Rail Yards and Western Rail Yards –for various purposes. Eastern Rail Yards is commercial areas with a small number of residential buildings and recreation areas. 6 buildings are planned there: a multifunctional skyscraper (residential areas, offices and hotel), three buildings of amazing shapes, the so-called office «cube» and an art gallery. Western Rail Yards is a residential area with a few shopping constructions. As this territory has many railways, more platforms are needed to overlap. The project means the reconstruction of a water freight station into the passenger one — «New Ferry Terminal».

Hudson Yards became the largest building project of New York after the Rockefeller Center, the largest privately construction project in the history of America, and the most iconic multi-billion commercial real estate project. It enjoys an ambiguous, rather cardinal attitude: some believe that Hudson Yards is an ambitious experiment in urban planning and the development of intellectual infrastructure. The others call it an entertainment platform for billionaires.

More than 2 million sq.m. of the office space and more than 13,000 apartments will have been built by 2025.