Silvian Marcus is part of the team that's a finalist for ENR New York's 2020 Project of the Year award — a standard of excellence that peppers his resume.
Now, Silvian is the latest winner of ENR New York's Legacy Award. He's been with WSP for 44 years and was once deemed “an awesome structural engineer” by a consumer tech website, because of his work on super-slender towers — structures for which he’s best known. Indeed, his presentation “The New Supers: Super-Slender Towers of New York,” presented at the 2016 annual convention of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, resulted in a standing-room-only crowd.
Silvian’s latest accomplishment is is 53W53, a luxury residential building that looms over the famed Museum of Modern Art, or MoMA, on which Silvian led the structural engineering team. 53W53 won this year’s ENR New York Best Project in the Residential/Hospitality category. The tower’s diagrid exoskeleton is both aesthetic and supportive, and its nodes required placement so precise that GPS was used for installation.
Another notable Silvian project is the 70-story, 1-million-sq-ft Hudson Yards Tower D, on which was principal in charge. The building, completed in March 2019, is 916 ft tall with a slenderness ratio of 12:1. As it rises, it transforms from a rectangular floor plate at the base to a curved “4 petal” geometry at the top. The tower is part of the overall Hudson Yards Eastern Yards project that last year won ENR New York’s “Best Project Office/Retail/Mixed-Use” award.
Some of his other super-slender structural engineering leadership roles were on projects including 56 Leonard, aka “the Jenga building,” which ENR named a national 2018 Best of the Best winner; and 432 Park Ave., which brags 95 stories and a slenderness ratio of 15:1.
He’s no one-trick pony, though. Silvian also led the structural engineering team on the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, and on the renovation of the New York City Center, a performing arts space. In the 1980s, he worked on the Helmsley Place Hotel, which was the first building to use 8,000 psi concrete.
We'll publish an in-depth profile of the engineer in the January 2020 issue of ENR New York and New England. Congratulations, Silvian!