The redevelopment of Manhattan’s West Side is continuing apace, and its newest component will give the neighborhood a glittering lighthouse over the rail tracks leading into Penn Station. The building at 450 West 33rd St. was constructed as a distribution center in the late 1960s and has long been a problematic presence in the area.
REX will oversee the renovation of the distribution center into an office building. During the Feb. 10 press conference, principal Joshua Prince-Ramus noted that the structure’s raked Brutalist envelope earned it the nickname the “Tyrell Building” after the monstrous edifice in the 1982 film Blade Runner. Re-clad in tilted glass with ground-level landscaping by James Corner Field Operations, the building will have a more inviting façade and integrate with its glassy new neighbors when its $200 million update is complete in 2016.
Ian Volner is a Manhattan-based writer and frequent ARCHITECT contributor whose work has also been published in Harper’s, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic. He’s currently working on his first book project.