35XV / FXCollaborative
Rising 347 feet above its mid-block site, 35XV is a unique, hybrid residential-academic building located in Manhattan’s vibrant Chelsea neighborhood. Utilizing excess development rights from the historic Xavier High School, the design artfully resolves the project’s principal requirements: providing needed expansion space for Xavier; creating highly crafted residential units that take advantage of their elevated location; conforming to highly restrictive municipal bulk controls, including sloped sky exposure planes; and being a “good neighbor”, relating to the both the Xavier Campus and to the neighboring streetscape, despite the project’s overall size.
The building design establishes two distinct identities: one for the school, addressing the street realm, and one for the residential tower above, that addresses the sky. Anchoring the building, a stone-clad cubic base continues the scale of the block’s street wall. Careful modulation of fenestration and a “chiseled” design vocabulary equally accommodates the school’s functions and establishes the residential use’s identity. Poised above, the tower’s sloped, shard-like forms and fish-scaled glass cladding reflect the sky, appearing to de-materialize the tower. The building’s sky exposure plane – a zoning bulk restriction that traditionally limits design – is used here to sculpt a unique form that offers residents light, airy interior living spaces with unparalleled views of the surrounding cityscape.
The building’s base incorporates classrooms, a STEM lab, rehearsal space and a commons for Xavier. A mix of one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom units occupy the top 18 floors, while a seventh floor amenity space includes a gym, lounge, children’s play room, shared wine cellar, and communal terrace.
A hybrid structural system was employed, with a steel frame at the base that supports the school addition and allows the tower to cantilever 17 feet over the existing school building, and 36 feet over the rear yard, comprising 40% of the residential floor area. The tower is constructed with flat-plate concrete to provide an ample footprint for apartments, and to allow for maximum planning flexibility. Completely independent MEP systems and vertical circulation infrastructure are provided for the two principal uses.
35XV sets new standards in the growing trend of air rights development, meeting housing demands in a dense Manhattan neighborhood while providing needed support for a local non-profit institution, all within a contextually specific, dynamic design.