Skyscrapers have long defined the Manhattan skyline, but an increased obsession with height is creating an unprecedented strain on the urban environment. What if instead of fighting for the prize of the tallest building, architects created the longest? This is exactly what architectural firm Oiio Studio aimed for when creating its new architecture concept, The Bend.
Currently, developers are scrambling to buy air rights from neighboring properties in order to build luxury residential towers dubbed “super-slender.” Oiio’s design, which they call the longest building in the world, is a U-shaped structure that stretches 4,000 ft. end to end.
“There is an undeniable obsession that resides in Manhattan. It is undeniable because it is made to be seen,” the architects share. “We have become familiar with building height measurements. We usually learn about the latest tallest building and we are always impressed by its price per square foot. It seems that a property’s height operates as a license for it to be expensive.”
By focusing on length rather than height, Oiio imagines a showstopping building that would literally straddle a piece of historical architecture on Billionaire’s Row, just south of Central Park. The Bend‘s façade is littered with windows. This creates a similar feel to the long, lean towers it emulates, but with an even smaller footprint.
It’s certainly an interesting solution, as community organizations, and even some architects, are alarmed by the number of supertall—between 980 feet and 2,000 feet—skyscrapers popping up in Manhattan. The concept is unquestionably an intriguing twist on both creating striking architecture and preserving the ever-changing skyline of New York City.