Tall & Urban News

Plans for Four-Skyscraper and Landscaped Plaza Development in New York City

Image courtesy BIG, © Negativ
Image courtesy BIG, © Negativ
19 February 2024 | New York City, United States

A new set of renderings have been unveiled for a proposal along Manhattan's East River. Freedom Plaza, designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and developed by Soloviev Group and Mohegan, will create two new residential skyscrapers rising 50 to 60 stories tall with 1,325 apartments, including 510 affordable housing units, as well as two 51-story hotel towers with 1,200 guest rooms split between Banyan Tree and Mohegan branding. A new landscaped waterfront park, a below-grade casino, and a museum would sit beneath the skyscrapers. The 6.7-acre property is the largest undeveloped plot in Manhattan, and is located along First Avenue between East 38th and East 41st Streets, directly south of the United Nations complex.

The design respects the celebrated UN complex to the north while also adding playful and sculptural elements to the waterfront. The two residential towers pay homage to modernist New York City buildings of the 1950s and 1960s, with striped glass and aluminum facades connected at the base by a podium that will house a food market and retail. The two hotel towers clad in a warm metal finish connect at the roof and feature a striking design composed of two perpendicular towers that curve 90 degrees to horizontal at their tops and meet in a cantilevering sky bridge.

Image courtesy BIG, © Bucharest Studio

The buildings within Freedom Plaza are placed at the perimeter of the site to maximize space for the multilevel, universally accessible green spaces designed by OJB, which include a children’s play area, dog run and event lawn with a bandshell for hosting al fresco events. The landscaping is designed to host a native botanical overlay and climate-adaptive species, with gardens providing food and habitat for pollinators year-round. The sculpture program and an amphitheater below the museum will offer cultural experiences for visitors and neighborhood residents alike, while educational programs centered around the native flora and sustainable practices emphasize the park’s commitment to environmental consciousness. Restaurants, a food market, community spaces, a daycare and other amenities line the northern and southern edges of the park.

The Soloviev Group is hoping to build Freedom Plaza and secure one of the three gaming licenses from New York Stoate to construct a casino. If approved, the casino would be constructed five stories below street level beneath the hotel tower. The developers are also aiming to build the complex as a net-zero carbon development.

Construction could begin as soon as early 2025.


For more on this story go to Bjarke Ingels Group.