MVRDV’s colourful “vertical village” opens in New York

Dutch architect MVRDV’s colourful Radio Hotel and Tower has opened in the Washington Heights neighbourhood in the northern edge of Manhattan.

Designed for developer Youngwoo & Associates, with Stonehill Taylor as the architect of record, the $300m tower contains a 221-room hotel, 16,000 sq m of office space, retail areas at ground-level and an event space called “Above the Heights” on the 12th floor.

At ground level, the tower will have a Jalao NYC restaurant and a 750 sq m courtyard with a garden and outdoor seating.

The tower’s stacked blocks reference the colours of local shopfronts, with the brightest – green, yellow, blue, red and orange – located on the upper blocks, and the more muted plum, teal, and grey-brown at street level.

Winy Maas, a partner in MVRDV, said: “Washington Heights has a unique and exciting character, very different from the neighbourhoods further south.

“The design of Radio Hotel and Tower is inspired by that character – we took the smaller blocks that are typical in the neighbourhood and stacked them into a vertical village. Add to that the bright colours that you see all around the area, and the project is like a beacon celebrating this part of the city.”

Margarette Lee, a partner in Youngwoo & Associates, added: “We chose this location because we believe in the neighbourhood, and we have a chance here to have an impact. Seventy per cent 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.”

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