West 57th in New York, New York. Rendering courtesy BIG&Glessner.



Thornton Tomasetti provided structural engineering services for the unique, 44-story, sloped building located between 57th and 58th streets along 12th Avenue in New York City. The triangular shape optimizes the number of units with views of the Hudson River while preserving the adjacent tower’s line of site.

The residential building contains 709 units, 20 percent of which are reserved for affordable housing. The building’s efficient structure of flat plate concrete below the 34th floor has embedded transfer girders within the slab to accommodate the façade setbacks at each floor. A steel structure completes the last 10 floors of the building, providing mechanical, window washing and façade support. The ground level has retail space as well a parking component, while the partial basement contains storage and back-of-house space. The western portion of the building, which is within the 100-year floodplain, has integral flood walls as well as mechanical units elevated above the floodplain. A 22,000-square-foot, 395-foot long interior courtyard at the third floor offers residents access to extensive green space.

625 West 57th Street, West 57th, W57, 57
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While the range of shapes and forms that can be designed with modern modeling tools is almost limitless, geometric discipline is still essential for budget control. When forms are still in flux, the design team can use our proprietary tools to interactively study multiple geometric options and establish optimized shapes for structural frames and building surfaces, along with related systems.

Parametric modeling applies parameters such as materials, dimensions or performance criteria to define elements or element categories within a model. Once entered, they can be altered, individually or in combination, to explore and easily incorporate design changes. These 3D models contain intelligent information and can serve as deliverables, or they can be used to generate 2D drawings. Parametric models improve documentation speed and quality, enhance visualization, quickly perform geometry-based analytical tasks and easily calculate material quantities.

Generative modeling uses scripts – instead of direct input – to generate elements, providing even greater flexibility in iterating and testing many options. It allows architects, engineers and other project stakeholders to work together to quickly evaluate any number of concepts and variations.