Westbury’s Picks: The ‘Jenga Tower’

View of the Jenga building from below

Each month, we take a look at a different architect or craftsman that has inspired us here at Westbury. This month we’ve picked the ‘Jenga Tower’, in New York

Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron is nearing completion on a residential skyscraper in New York that has been dubbed the ‘Jenga Tower’ thanks to its unusual shape.

Made up of a series of glass cuboids – each a separate ‘villa’ – stacked upon each other, the building has a uniform shape at the bottom, with the cuboids being incrementally offset as it rises up towards the sky. This gradual mismatching of the regular shapes gives it its nickname, as it looks very much like a giant game of Jenga several rounds after starting the game. Balconies are also irregularly spaced, adding to the Jenga-like look of the building.

Full view of the tower from high position

The whole building consists of residential properties and amenities, but the upper 10, most haphazard, boxes will be unique penthouses which will feature up to 61m of continuous glazed walls. Other facilities in the building include an indoor/outdoor theatre, a swimming pool and fitness suite, and a conference centre. These will feature on the 9th and 10th floors, providing spectacular views.

Architects have been forced to design buildings which reach new heights in order to expand in a city where there is increasingly little floor space. Demonstrative of this, the Jenga building will be 60 storeys in height. However this doesn’t mean that living space will be cramped. Unlike many other apartments and condominiums in the city, high ceilings are en vogue; in more than half the building (the lower half) buyers have the option of a villa with ceilings 11 feet or higher. Whilst not enabling the cityscape views of higher storeys, the high ceilings ensure these future homes are spacious, light and airy.

Close up of apartments at the top of the Jenga tower

Started in 2008, the construction of the building was stalled by the impact of the recession. Work recommenced in 2012, and should be finished later this year.

The innovative architecture and engineering of this building, coupled with the extensive use of glass is why we have chose the Jenga Tower for this month’s Pick.



Feature image by Justin.A.Wilcox – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Body copy images from Dezeen