Hudson Yards’ Western Yard was the featured location for an international architects’ design contest. The competition, Build New York Live, was the latest of the annual Build Earth Live events, in which teams race to build virtual designs for well-known locations within 48 hours.
This year’s event challenged contestants to design an indoor sports facility and an adjacent residential tower over the Western Rail Yard. The facility was to serve as a community resource, accessible to all socioeconomic groups, that also integrated key features of the area: the elevated public park The High Line, the riverfront location, and the proximity to local transportation lines.
Teams of professionals around the world raced to realize their designs, often juggling different time zones, different technical specialties, and different professional software. Judging included such criteria as use of design for community building, design sustainability and feasibility, and technical prowess.
While contestants do not compete for a contract to realize their designs, the choice of Hudson Yards as a virtual design location is significant. In its briefing, the Build New York Live site described the area as vibrant, “buzzing with chic art galleries, innovative restaurants and bars, and highly respected international fashion and design.” It also asserted that Hudson Yards is poised to “become the epicenter of Manhattan’s New West Side.”
UK based Ryder Alliance took home the winning trophy.
Previous locations for Build Earth Live events include London; Sydney, Australia; and Doha, Qatar. Hudson Yards is in good company.