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New York Skyline Has World’s Thinnest Building

Four residential skyscrapers tower over the skyline south of Central Park in the Manhattan borough of New York City on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. From left, Central Park Tower, One57, Steinway Tower and the MoMA Expansion Tower. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey, File)
New York Skyline Has World’s Thinnest Building
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A new building stands out from the rest in New York City’s skyline.

America’s largest city is known for its many extremely tall buildings, also known as skyscrapers.

The newly completed Steinway Tower is not New York’s tallest. But it is the skinniest, meaning very thin.

The 84-story Steinway Tower is a housing structure. It was designed by New York building company SHoP Architects. The project was started in 2014 and completed earlier this year.

The building is being called the “most slender skyscraper in the world.” This is because it has a width-height relationship, or ratio, of 1-to-23 1/2.

Gregg Pasquarelli is a founding member of SHoP Architects. He told The Associated Press that any time a building has a 1-to-10 or more ratio, it is considered a slender building. He said anything 1-to-15 or more is considered “exotic” and “really difficult” to build.

“The most slender buildings in the world are mostly in Hong Kong, and they’re around 17- or 18-to-1,” Pasquarelli added.

The 60 living spaces in the tower range in cost from $18 million to $66 million. They offer 360-degree views of the city. The building sits just south of Central Park, along a stretch of Manhattan’s 57th Street known as “Billionaires' Row.”

At 435 meters, Steinway Tower is the second-tallest housing structure in the Western Hemisphere. The tallest is the nearby Central Park Tower at 470 meters.

For comparison, the world’s tallest building is Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, which rises 828 meters.

Steinway Tower is so thin at the top that a strong wind can cause the upper floors to sway by about a half meter.

“Every skyscraper has to move,” Pasquarelli said. “If it’s too stiff, it’s actually more dangerous — it has to have flexibility in it.”

To prevent the tower from swaying too far, designers created a counterbalance with steel pieces. In addition, about 200 rock anchors provide support from the ground.

Steinway Tower has a long history as the former site of Steinway Hall, which was built in 1924. JDS Development Group and Property Markets Group bought the building in 2013. The company said it is now looking to the future.

Pasquarelli said of the new site, “I hope it holds a special place in all future New Yorkers' hearts.”

I’m Bryan Lynn.

The Associated Press reported this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the report for VOA Learning English.


Words in This Story

slender adj. very thin

exotic adj. unusual, interesting and often foreign

sway v. to move back and forth

stiff adj. hard and difficult to bend

flexibility n. the quality of bending easily without breaking

anchor n. a piece of equipment that is used to prevent an object from moving


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