About Sky House
Sky House is located in midtown Manhattan adjacent to the historic landmarked Church of the Transfiguration also known as the “Actors Church.” All of the development rights (“air rights”) of the historic structure were utilized in order to take full advantage of the limited site footprint, and in thus achieving its overall height. Parish hall facilities for the church are located in the base of the tower. They include meeting/reception rooms, classrooms and offices. The building’s width varies from only 8.8 meters to 15.2 meters (29–50ft) resulting in a highly attenuated slender structure with slenderness ratios ranging from 1:12 at its maximum width to 1:20 at its narrowest.
In order to provide the necessary stability against wind and gravitational loads, concrete shear walls were integrated with the architectural plan not only around the stairs and elevators, but also between units and at the perimeter. The perimeter condition integrates the structure in an inventive pattern of tightly spaced piers and vertically oriented floor-to-ceiling windows. The tower’s dynamic characteristics were designed to tune out the aerodynamic wind effects to a level that satisfied human comfort criteria without the use of supplemental damping systems. The design has only three interior columns which provided flexibility to apartment layouts as well as simplifying construction— achieving a two-day poured-in-place concrete cycle for each floor.
To help Sky House blend with its lower-scale surroundings, the building is divided vertically into three slender masses. The base differentiates itself from the tower with a finely articulated, vertical prismatic glass curtain wall that establishes a graceful and slightly ecclesiastical expression to the façade. The church’s parish house is a new three-story structure at the base of the tower that projects forward to the sidewalk, thus extending the scale and refined architectural detail of the church compound toward the east. At street level, the tower graciously becomes a backdrop to the parish hall and other low-scale structures. The architecture of the parish hall façade provides a transition between the historic church and the minimalist vertical expression of the tower.