The smaller tower in Related Companies’ High Line-straddling project has topped out. The two matching condo towers at 555 West 18th Street, one on either side of the elevated park, were designed by Heatherwick Studio as their first residential project in Manhattan. The duo has become know as the “bubble towers” for their bulging bay windows, that not only give the appearance of a building covered in bubble wrap but provide for interesting views of the park and Hudson River.
The towers sport identical and striking facades, with rows of bulging bay windows framed by brick, inspired by the classic warehouses West Chelsea is known for. Studio head Thomas Heatherwick says that the design of the windows reconceives the residential bay window “as a three-dimensional sculpted piece of glazing.”
The two buildings at 555 West 18th, a 10-story and 21-story tower, will hold 180 one- to four-bedroom residences between them, with views of the Hudson River. They are a part of the Related’s Hudson Residences, which includes another building on West 22nd Street designed by Robert A.M. Stern.
Heatherwick’s bubble-wrap facade joins a number of other innovative designs along the High Line. Zaha Hadid’s futuristic design at 520 West 28th Street is completed, Bjarke Ingels’ angled condo towers at 76 11th Avenue, known as XI, is rising, and designs by Jean Nouvel, Jeanne Gang, and Shigeru Ban are all coming to the area as well.