Edge, an observation deck cantilevered from the 100th floor of KPF’s 30 Hudson Yards, opened in March and, despite pandemic-related limits on the number of hourly public admissions, has joined the ranks of the city’s must-see tourist attractions. Though stepping onto the 1,100-foot-high platform provides the ultimate astonishment, the Edge experience begins much lower down, in the fourth-floor queuing area. LAB at Rockwell Group has transformed the 13,000-square-foot space into an enthralling exhibition that tells the story of how the Hudson Yards development, which is built on top of an active railyard, was made possible through extreme feats of engineering. At the outset, visitors witness “Manhattan’s Last Frontier,” a light show that explores the city’s dynamic geographical history with an animated map emblazoned across the 80-foot perforated ceiling. As guests progress, they pass through an expanse of shimmering glass columns referencing the nearly 300 caissons that support the development; behold sweeping animations of incoming trains; and finally take a transportive ride in an elevator with walls displaying a digital panorama of the city—an apparition that gives way to actual breathtaking views when the doors slide open.
Project Team: David Rockwell; Melissa Hoffman; Arianne Wotzka; Stephanie Gitto; Inessah Selditz; Charlie Veprek; Tiffany Wu; Richard Chandler; Phoebe Quirk; Sarah Skillington; Garrett Antin; Vivien Wang; Donna Pallotta; Laura Rankin.
> See the full list of winners and honorees from Best of Year 2020