Best Tall Building 200-299 meters Award of Excellence: ARO, New York City

John Cetra
Founding Principal
CetraRuddy Architecture, New York City

Hilary Feshbach
Algin Management, New York City

Deceptively Simple

Situated in New York City’s vibrant theater district, the residential tower ARO is deeply responsive to its urban context. The slender tower presents a thoughtful approach to dense urban living by maximizing its distance from adjacent properties on the east and west exposures. Its curved form allows for panoramic views, and generous amounts of direct sunlight. The tower’s cantilevered design is a synthesis of pragmatic and aesthetic solutions. A deceptively simple envelope pattern provides a singular graphic, while the façade details give scale and proportion to the underlying structure. Six different module types shift within the two layers of the building’s skin, creating additional opportunities for occupiable space and floor plans.

The distinctive tower-to-podium massing and façade articulation are a dexterous response to the site limitations and zoning challenges. The design takes advantage of allowable encroachments to maximize the use and articulation of the building. The building’s multi-level, landscaped podium presents a functional response to the varied amenity program inside, which includes a full-height basketball court, swimming pool, bike room, play room for children, resident lounge, and fitness center.

The glass curtain wall is covered with a light-hued metal net that serves as a distinctive graphic overlay. This net, comprised of 18-inch (46-centimeter)-deep “fenders,” also acts as an integrated solar device. The metal and glass of the façade each reflect and absorb light in different ways. The sun is a friend of this building, as the sky is reflected in its glass, and the projecting undulation captures sunlight, giving the façade pleasing depth and a visual interest that changes throughout the day. The metal fenders protect from undesirable solar gain and glare.

View Building on The Skyscraper Center