Bend Buildings, Not Laws: Plans For A U-Shaped Structure Could Change The Face Of New York


New York City is home to many interesting people and things, such as the first Pokémon GO player in the United States who already caught them all, the parking meters that can be paid via a smartphone application, and the veterinarian who was unfortunate enough to catch a rare type of bird flu from a cat.

The city that never sleeps is also home to some of the world's richest people, and this leads developers to try and outdo each other when constructing luxury condominiums and homes that are limited by the city's zoning laws. However, one studio came up with a creative solution that could change the face of the New York City skyline: a U-shaped building.

Greek-born architect Ioannis Oikonomou, founder of OIIO Studio, unveiled the designs on the company's website and posed the idea that focusing on building longer structures instead of taller would not only make the infrastructure stand out, it would still follow NYC's unique zoning laws.

The Big Bend

OIIO Studio stated that NYC developers have been equating prestige with the height of the city's skyscrapers, allowing properties to become more expensive per square meter. The studio then challenged the preconceived idea by proposing a new unique design for a prestigious building.

"If we manage to bend our structure instead of bending the zoning rules of New York we would be able to create one of the most prestigious buildings in Manhattan. The longest building in the world," the studio writes.

Dubbed as "The Big Bend," OIIO's proposed building is an inverted-U structure that is 4,000 feet long from one base to the other. The building may not be the tallest since it is bent, but it will definitely be undefeated if one considers its length as the height when it is stretched out like the other structures.

Take a look at the image below for a height comparison of NYC's tallest structures.

Is It A Structure Or A Symbol?

Despite being an amazing concept, "The Big Bend" does not seem to be a real proposition for Manhattan.

Some believe that the concept design is OIIO Studio's creative way of commenting on the state of architectural inequality in NYC, while others think it serves to highlight the competition for building height in Manhattan.

Both could be considered partially correct since OIIO Studio also included the following cartoonish images along with the design.

The studio, however, seems to be tackling a different issue: that of the growing number of homeless people and lack of affordable housing, as detailed in its post titled "Behind the Big Bend: The multi-faceted NY urban life."

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