A first look at Hudson Yards, the new $ 25 billion neighborhood in New York • fastcompany.com

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Hudson Yards, & # 39; the world's largest private real estate development, opens Friday in New York. There are 28 hectares of office space, shops, gourmet dishes, a country square, a non-profit for art and a building that is referred to as & # 39; New York & # 39; s Eiffel Tower & # 39; next to residential buildings and, ultimately, a public school, all on top of an active rail yard on the west side of the city. Fast operation photographer Daisy Korpics has taken a close look at the massive and controversial new development. View her exclusive photos and see how developer-related companies and Oxford Properties Group have built up a $ 25 billion neighborhood.

[Photo: Daisy Korpics for Fast Company]The barn

The most exciting new building on Hudson Yards is The Shed, a form-changing stage for performing arts for the non-profit organization of the same name by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in collaboration with Rockwell Group. A non-profit organization that sits next to office buildings, million-dollar apartments and shopping opportunities is accessible at street level without entering the rest of the neighborhood. "The building can physically transform to support the vision of artists and the work they create," said Alex Poots, director of The Shed. "It can grow into a theater environment, outside environment, gallery environment. [It can be] lightly filled and even completely black. "The building, which has two gallery spaces and a versatile theater, can even double in size thanks to a scale that can extend from the base of the building to the square. When the shell is deployed, the theater can accommodate an audience of 1,250 people, seated or more than 2,000 people The opening program "Soundtrack of America" ​​is an exploration of African-American music compiled by a group including director Steve McQueen and musician Quincy Jones.

[Photo: Daisy Korpics for Fast Company]Tech-enabled retail

The shopping center, located between two skyscrapers and designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, has more than 100 luxury and mass market brands spread over seven floors and 1,000,000 square meters. That includes the first Neiman Marcus in New York on the fifth and tenth floors, which will have art collections and food and beverage outlets and integrate technology into their fitting rooms and mirrors to help shoppers find the perfect fit. On the second floor, digitally native companies are hosted, including underwear brand Mack Weldon, health drink company Dirty Lemon and shoe brand M. Gemi, as well as Snark Park, an exciting exhibition space designed by Snarkitecture with a retail component and a bar with cereal from Streetwear Company Kith Treats. The center will also include some of the 25 restaurants in the area, including an American restaurant by famous chef Thomas Keller and a Momofuku by David Chang. The Spanish chef José Andres and the Adrià brothers (behind the renowned restaurant el Bulli) have opened a "Mercado" of 35,000 square meters, which has opened all that Spain has to offer.

Related is experimenting with digital shopping carts that allow customers to purchase items in stores for later delivery and follow their store habits. The neighborhood indeed seems designed to allow visitors to spend as much money as possible: as soon as guests sign up for the neighborhood network, their movements and purchases are tracked and they can receive targeted offers, advertisements or discounts for shops and restaurants. "You are going to walk on the High Line [an elevated park next door] and it will pick up that it is close to Hudson Yards and there are algorithms that tell us who you are shopping with and you get targeted emails and advertisements on social media, "says Retail Specialist Esty Ottensoser. Some may find that scary. But this is increasingly where retail is managed.

[Photo: Daisy Korpics for Fast Company]Office space in abundance, plus an observation deck

Various companies, including start-ups, hedge funds, law firms and media companies, have turned the neighborhood into a new head office. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, 10 Hudson Yards houses companies such as the Tapestry Group, L & # 39; Oréal USA, Sidewalk Labs, VaynerMedia and the Boston Consulting Group. At 3096 meters, 30 Hudson Yards, also designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, is New York's second-highest office building, which includes HBO, CNN, Turner Broadcasting, Time Warner, Inc., KKR & Co. and Wells Fargo Securities are established. The 100th floor deck of 30 Hudson Yards (pictured here) is the highest outside man-made viewing area in the Western Hemisphere and the fifth highest in the world.

[Photo: Daisy Korpics for Fast Company]The gardens hide advanced technology

The 28-hectare space is on top of two 37,000-tonne platforms that cover a working yard with 30 train tracks, three railway tunnels and the new gateway tunnel that will eventually connect the district to the Penn station. Three hundred watertight chambers to allow underwater construction, with a diameter of 4 to 5 feet and 20 to 80 feet deep, were drilled between existing tracks to support the platforms. Related is the use of mobile phone and camera data to track and respond to traffic patterns, metro rosters, air quality, power requirements, temperature and pedestrian flows, and visitors can sign up to receive notifications that allow them to travel around Hudson Yards , buy tickets for the Vessel (an art installation by architect Thomas Heatherwick) and get information about events and experiences in the area.

About the platforms, Nelson Byrd Woltz designed square of five acres and gardens have more than 28,000 plants and 200 shadow-tolerant trees from the state of New York that were cultivated in New Jersey for four years before they were planted. Lead architect Thomas Woltz devised an urban oasis in Manhattan. "So much of the city is a sidewalk with traffic," he says. "Now we have the possibility for the car to take a back seat. People can get out of the buildings into this beautiful public space." To make the space appear larger, Woltz has left the square from building to building instead of aligning them with curbs and gutters.

To keep the soil welcoming to trees and to allow them to grow to their full height, despite sitting above a railway site that can reach 150 degrees, a system powered by 15 fans used in jet engines ventilates the tracks below, and coolants are circulated via a network of hoses to protect the roots. Because plants can only be 18 centimeters deep and trees are 4 feet deep in the ground bed on Hudson Yards, sand and gravel are placed between concrete to make the roots grow wide and shallow. To minimize the burden of the neighborhood on city sewers, rainwater is collected in a 60,000 gallon tank and used to irrigate the plants. This saves 6.5 megawatt hours of energy and compensates for 5 tons of greenhouse gas per year, according to Related.

[Photo: Daisy Korpics for Fast Company]The Vessel: Public art and an outdoor gym in one

Architect Thomas Heatherwick & $ 150 million climbable piece of public art consists of 154 steel staircases with 2,500 steps and 80 landings. Heatherwick sees it as an extension of the High Line, the elevated public park that ends at Hudson Yards. "We thought," What if we were spinning a mile of public space in the sky? "He says. He also wanted the piece to be interactive for visitors." I was interested in creating something truly physical where you could use your body. It is not just something you look at. When I was 16 in New York, I felt that New Yorkers had something different, there was more interest in health and body. You have people who have power walking to work with their suits and white sneakers. Now, of course, we are all neurotic, but I was wondering if [the Vessel] could be an extension of a very physical realm. I was wondering if it could be your exercise device. & # 39;

[Photo: Daisy Korpics for Fast Company][Photo: Daisy Korpics for Fast Company]Energy on the site

A 13.2 MW cogeneration plant, which increases energy efficiency by producing heat and electricity at the same time, and additional 1.2 MW gas-fired micro-turbines generate power to continue to use buildings, homes and refrigerators, even in the case of a power supply loss. This is crucial since Hudson Yards sits directly along the Hudson River, which flooded during Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and is likely to flood again as climate change increases the frequency and severity of storms. The cogeneration installation ensures that the neighborhood can continue to run without interruption. The waste heat that is generated is also used to generate hot and cold water that is distributed to the floors of tenants for heating and cooling.

With its state-of-the-art technology, shiny surfaces and impressively tall towers, proponents of Hudson Yards claim it is near the future – a model for large-scale real estate developments that are yet to come. But if you are at 25 feet above street level, the neighborhood feels like a (western) world in itself: a playground for the rich, complete with luxury shops, Wi-Fi control for every movement of visitors and apartments from $ 1.95 million, all anchored by a crown jewel, the incongruently large (and expensive) $ 200 million ship. "Hudson Yards will be the example of what every city wants. It is what New York should be," said Stephen Ross, the billionaire president of Related Companies. But does the rest of New York agree?