the two bjarke ingels group-designed towers that comprise the XI, or ‘the eleventh’, have topped out in manhattan’s chelsea neighborhood. the 300-foot-tall (91m) east tower, known as ‘no. X’, will contain 87 residences as well as a hotel, while the 400-foot-tall (122m) west tower (‘no. I’) will contain a further 149 residences. located in close proximity to the high line, the project forms part of a new ‘architecture row’, which already includes projects by renzo piano, jean nouvel, and frank gehry.

bjarke ingels group xi
image by evan joseph (also main image)

 

 

the project is developed by manhattan-based real estate development and investment company HFZ capital group. as a mixed-use residential and commercial development, the XI offers 236 luxury condominium residences, as well as the first US destination by six senses hotels resorts spas. the development also includes a newly-created public promenade developed by HFZ in collaboration with friends of the high line, the first ever street-level extension of the park. the XI is a collaborative project that includes the skills of bjarke ingels group, gabellini sheppard associates, gilles & boissier, and enzo enea.

 

designboom was in attendance at the topping out ceremony where we spoke with bjarke ingels about the ongoing project.

bjarke ingels group xi
image by evan joseph

 

 

designboom (DB): what drove the decision to twist the towers?

 

bjarke ingels (BI): architects spend a lot of their life drawing plans. in a suburban neighborhood or in a lower european neighborhood, typically all the buildings reach up to just five or eight stories. so in that case the plan is the plan. but in a place like new york, where you have neighbors of all kinds, the contexts are very different from all directions. that three dimensional complexity of the surroundings actually ends up informing the three dimensional complexity of the buildings themselves.

bjarke ingels group xi
image by dbox for HFZ capital group

 

 

BI (continued): the building we’re in is facing west. we’re still only eight floors from the top, but as we go higher the building gets wider so we get the sunset. so the twisting face right now is actually facing north, but it is adjusting to ultimately become completely straight to the west. as we get lower we’re opening up this view portal for the east tower. because we pull back we open up the water views which the lower floors otherwise wouldn’t get. in return, the east tower becomes slimmer higher up so at the top the west tower finally has a view toward the south and a view to look down to the high line.

bjarke ingels group xi
image by dbox for HFZ capital group

 

 

DB: were there any challenges with this project that you didn’t encounter with your 57th street project?

 

BI: here the rules were already written. the heights and the fact that it had to be two towers was given. in that sense we were just trying to somehow optimize the conditions within that set of rules. because even when the rules are written there is a lot of room for interpretation. we care very much about the dialogue between the two buildings and the surroundings, so rather than ignoring each other they respond to each other — and that creates this little constellation.

bjarke ingels group xi
image by dbox for HFZ capital group

 

 

DB: what about the relationship with the high line?

 

BI: almost invisibly the building pushes out underneath the highline. in this instance these storefronts at the level of the street are basically shaped by the columns of the high line coming from above.

bjarke ingels group xi
image by dbox for HFZ capital group

 

 

the luxury condominium residences within the east tower, no. X, have been designed by gilles & boissier. the homes start on the 11th floor, above the six senses new york hotel. meanwhile, the taller tower, no. I, features condominiums designed by gabellini sheppard associates. residents enter through a double height lobby that includes a fireplace and sculptural desk. a private entrance exclusive to residents features a porte-cochere and courtyard designed with swiss landscape architect enzo enea.

bjarke ingels group xi
image by dbox for HFZ capital group

 

 

residents at the XI will enjoy 60,000 square feet of amenities, including a private 18,000 square foot amenities club designed by gabellini sheppard. here, a 75-foot glass-enclosed, sunlit swimming pool is accompanied by a hot tub and poolside cabanas on the expansive deck. residents will be able to enjoy a fully-equipped treatment room and flexible studios for personalized signature massages and specialist therapies, plus wellness and nutritional programming by the six senses team. elsewhere, the entertaining space is highlighted by a double-height bridge and library bar with retractable screen for viewing and entertaining, social lounge spaces, a formal dining and wine tasting room with storage lockers, a teen’s lounge and children’s playroom.

bjarke ingels group xi
image by dbox for HFZ capital group

 

 

located in the east tower, six senses new york features 137 guest rooms and suites designed by gilles & boissier. as well as having two on site restaurants to choose from, owners at the XI will enjoy access to six senses’ wellness club and spa, preferred reservations at both restaurants, and hotel services including valet parking, room service, housekeeping, and laundry service. residents will also receive special privileges at all six senses worldwide. see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here, and visit the XI’s website for more details.

bjarke ingels group xi
image by dbox for HFZ capital group

bjarke ingels group xi
image by dbox for HFZ capital group

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