Progress continues at SLCE's 21 West End Avenue, the first tower of the 5-site megaproject, known as Riverside Center, on the far west side of Manhattan. Structure has surpassed the half way mark for the 43-story, 616-unit rental tower and curtain wall installation has begun on the smaller appendage off the main tower. The façade is composed of a fairly generic curtain wall system and tan opaque panels. Installation of the opaque cladding for the podium floors, future home to PS/IS 342M, has also begun. Offering Pre-K through 8th grade, the new public school will serve approximately 488 students in over 20 classrooms spread across four floors. Classes are expected to start by 2018.
Work has yet to reach above ground on the other four sites in the mega project. Next up should be One West End, a 41-story, 366-unit tower to the south of the first site under construction. This is the much debated "poor door" building with a separate entrance for its 118 affordable units. According to its teaser site, the building has been designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli, not Christian de Portzamparc, as has been reported elsewhere. Though it has lost the design direction of the Pritzker prize winner, it does appear to be an upgrade in aesthetics over its neighbor to the north.
The remaining three sites will be carried out by Goldstein Hill & West, thus completely eliminating Portzamparc from the actual execution of his master plan. With the completion of the final three towers, Riverside Center will contain 2,500 units.
Architects: SLCE Architects (21 West End Avenue), Dattner Architects (Pre-K through 8 School), Pelli Clarke Pelli (One West End), Goldstein, Hill & West Architects (Buildings One, Three, and Four); Program: Residential, School (Riverside Center Building 2); Location: Upper West Side, New York, NY; Completion: 2016.