Lounge in a hot tub in the sky

The American Copper Buildings (above) with the skybridge were designed by SHoP Architects.
The American Copper Buildings (above) with the skybridge were designed by SHoP Architects.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

American Copper Buildings in New York have a 91m-high skybridge that comes with a pool, hot tub, bar and lounge

NEW YORK • Workers have almost completed mounting the copper panelling on the American Copper Buildings (nee 626 First Avenue), the new tilting, two-towered development at Manhattan's East Side, but their most striking feature - a three-storey, 30m-long skybridge - is still open to the elements.

The towers, which were designed by SHoP Architects (also known for Brooklyn's love-it-or-hate-it Barclays Center) and developed by the luxury mega-developer JDS Development Group, will be made up entirely of rental units ranging from studios to three-bedrooms.

The distinctive copper cladding is reminiscent of the weathering steel on the Barclays Center, which quickly turned rust-coloured.

Similarly, the buildings' copper, currently shiny, will soon age, colouring the buildings a vibrant green.

The American Copper Buildings will house 761 rental apartments spread across the two towers, 20 per cent of which will be rented as affordable housing; the east tower is 40 stories, the west tower 49.

Residents of both towers will have access to the skybridge, which spans the 27th to 29th floors.

It is more apt to think of the bridge as an extension of the buildings' full-floor amenities on 28th and 29th floor: There is a vaulted, two-story gym with a rock-climbing wall, a juice bar, a yoga studio, a communal kitchen, a playroom, an art studio and a marble hammam with a plunge pool.

The skybridge itself, though, is designed to be the showstopper. The architects placed a 23m lap pool on the bridge, so residents can swim 91m in the air; there will also be a hot tub, a bar and a lounge with a billiards table.

Finally, the top of the skybridge is broken out into three private terraces, accessed by the apartments that flank it from the east and west towers.

And the skybridge has an added plus: Because the pool takes up only part of the bridge's bottom floor, the architects were able to tuck many of the east tower's mechanical systems alongside it; that, in turn, freed up the rooftop of the east tower, to which the developer promptly added an infinity pool and cabanas, also open to all residents.

The infinity pool, located on the 40th floor of the building where views stretch to New York harbour, takes the "infinity" aspect to an extreme.

The buildings are set to be completed next year. It is still too early, the developer says, to talk about apartment prices, but given the amenities, views, pedigreed architect and the US$172 million (S$231 million) that JDS paid for the property, it is safe to assume they will not be cheap.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 30, 2016, with the headline 'Lounge in a hot tub in the sky'. Print Edition | Subscribe