Dutch firm Concrete completes tallest residential skyscraper in New Jersey

Amsterdam-based studio Concrete has completed an apartment tower across from Manhattan that features a range of unusual amenities, including a “creative lab”, and a residency program for scientists and artists.

Called Jersey City Urby, the 69-storey skyscraper is located at 200 Greene Street in Jersey City, just across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan. Rising 713 feet (217 metres), the skyscraper is the tallest residential building in New Jersey, but falls shy of the state’s overall tallest structure: the 781-foot-tall (238-metre) 30 Hudson Street office tower.

Jersey City Urby by Concrete

Urby contains 762 rental units, from studios to one- and two-bedroom apartments.

The grey tower is composed of irregularly stacked blocks, with a number of floor plates cantilevering over the ground below. The building’s Jenga-like massing has drawn comparisons to Herzog & de Meuron’s 56 Leonard tower in Manhattan.

The New Jersey skyscraper is the second in a series of Urby-branded developments, all designed by Concrete – the Dutch studio known for its design of citizenM hotels in Europe, North America and Asia.

Jersey City Urby by Concrete

The first Urby project opened in 2016 on New York‘s Staten Island, and a third is scheduled to open this summer in Harrison, New Jersey.

“Urby is a rethink of the residential rental-housing concept that is design-driven, tailored to fit every neighbourhood, and developed with the needs of the contemporary urban renter in mind,” the team said.

Jersey City Urby by Concrete

The apartments are designed to “make smart use of space”, with built-in wall units serving as desks, shelving and storage space. The units are fitted with hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances and washers and dryers.

Large windows offer sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty.

Jersey City Urby by Concrete

The building contains a range of amenity spaces that are “designed to foster natural opportunities for residents to meet and interact”.

The ground level was inspired by hotel lobbies and lounges.

Jersey City Urby by Concrete

The team created a cafe with a range of seating options, long wooden tables and eclectic decor. The shop is run by the local coffeehouse 9 Bar Cafe.

Ample Hills Creamery, a popular Brooklyn ice-cream maker, will opens its first New Jersey location in the tower this July. “The shop will serve all of its signature flavours, as well as a new flavour inspired by the Jersey City Urby location,” the team said.

Jersey City Urby by Concrete

On the ninth floor, the building offers a fitness centre and a light-filled communal kitchen and dining area. This level also houses a heated saltwater pool and outdoor deck, which can be used for parties, movie screenings and morning meditations.

The 68th floor houses the Urby Creative Lab. “Here, residents can participate in hands-on workshops, from interior design and photography, to flower arranging and homemade apothecary,” the team said.

Jersey City Urby by Concrete

The tower also offers car parking, bicycle storage and a dog run, along with a residency program for scientists and artists.

Currently, the president of New Jersey’s Liberty Science Center resides in the building and will host regular programs about science and technology. The arts organisation Mana Contemporary is helping launch the tower’s artist-in-residence program.

Jersey City Urby by Concrete

The Urby projects are backed by Ironstate Development, whose portfolio includes the Standard East Village and the Chiltern Firehouse in London, both created in partnership with hotelier André Balazs.

Other recent projects in New Jersey include an apartment tower by Hollwich Kushner and Handel Architects in Jersey City, which features a rectangular form and gridded windows, and a mixed-use complex in downtown Newark by Richard Meier & Partners.

Photography is by Ewout Huibers.

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