David Chipperfield

The Bryant . New York


David Chipperfield Architects . photos: © Simon Menges . + AJ

The Bryant is a 32-storey mixed-use tower building located on the south-west corner of Bryant Park, a nine-acre public park in Midtown Manhattan. Surrounded by historic landmark buildings, it faces the New York Public Library to the north, and is situated near the celebrated Beaux-Arts style Knox Building to the east. The building comprises a hotel that extends to the 13th floor, with private residences above. These two components are served by two separate lobbies at street level, with retail on both sides of each entrance animating the street front.


The building articulates three separate parts following the traditional tripartite composition of the New York tower: base, middle and crown. The base occupies the full width of the site and contains a double-height ground floor as well as the first four levels of the hotel. A decreased footprint, together with an increased floor-to-ceiling height for the hotel bar and lounge, mark the start of the central section. This set-back creates an outdoor terrace accessible to both hotel guests and residential tenants while maintaining the elevation pattern of alternating medium and high-rise buildings along 40th Street. The crown is established by double-height spaces for the two penthouses at the top of the tower.

Adhering to the conditions of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the façade relates to the historic buildings nearby, offering a contemporary interpretation. The concrete mix contains different aggregates identical to the stone varieties found in the neighbouring buildings’ masonry façades. These polished precast concrete slabs and columns follow a tectonic grid composition lending the building a classical appearance and firmly asserting its place within the streetscape.

The concrete building structure extends into the interior of the residences, reinforcing a sense of architectural substance and identity. Built-in furnishings conceal storage spaces and appliances while dividing the spaces, removing the need for partition walls, and allowing uninterrupted views around the perimeter. Floor-to-ceiling windows open on to Juliet balconies on the north and south façades for most of the residences, while the penthouses have double-height, colonnaded terraces with view over the city and park.