ARO (242 West 53rd Street)
New York City
Award of Merit
Owner: Algin Management
Lead Design Firm: CetraRuddy Architecture
General Contractor: Pavarini McGovern LLC
Civil Engineer: Langan
Structural Engineer: DeSimone Consulting Engineers
MEP Engineer: Cosentini Associates
Concrete Contractors: DiFama Concrete; Long Island Concrete
The distinctive 62-story ARO—a curving tower wrapped in glass and interlocking composite metal panels—added dramatic flair to Manhattan’s theater district when Algin Management opened the 426-unit residential property.
The undulating facade underscores ARO’s visual and structural complexity, shifting across six different modules that form unique shapes for residence interiors. The 540,000-sq-ft building—with 40,000 sq ft of amenities, retail and parking—is 720 ft tall and 75 ft wide. That slender aspect ratio of 9.5 to 1, and a structure that increasingly curves as it rises, created ample design and construction challenges.
Notable features include 90 balconies that encircle the building on upper floors. Residences toward the top, where the facade is more convex, have nearly panoramic views.
The building also has a lateral system of reinforced concrete shear walls, flat plate concrete floor slabs and concrete columns to resist wind and seismic forces. An outrigger framework midway up the building connects the shear walls to perimeter columns, allowing greater wall strength at lesser thickness.