Contemporary Architecture

The Stack

Located next to one of those ubiquitous Inwood pre-war apartment houses, The Stack both fits in and sticks out. Most importantly, it is Manhattan’s first modular apartment building. The building sections were manufactured in a Pennsylvania factory and then, as its name alludes to, assembled on the site. Gluck+ Architects designed it and managed construction. (To see a time-lapse video click here.)

The new type of construction, for NYC, is matched with a post-modern facade that contrasts with the historic styles of its brick clad neighbors. At the same time, at 7 stories it nearly matches the height of the adjoining building and is built up to the street. The Stack, which debuted in 2014, is a mixed-income rental building with 6 of the 28 units affordable housing under the City’s Housing Partnership program.

Campbell Sports Center

Built in 2012, the Campbell Sports Center, Columbia University’s training center for football players and other student athletes, sits on a hilly corner at Broadway and W. 218th Street, the newest facility in the Baker Athletic Complex. In a review by New York magazine’s Justin Davidson, he observes that architects Steven Holl and Chris McVoy “avoid pinning themselves down to a recognizable style,” as he notes “how neatly it negotiates a tangle of different transitions.”

The surrounding area is an urban smorgasbord including the elevated 1 subway line, bridges, river, athletic fields, and residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. Rather than relate to any one of those surrounding uses fully, its  heavily glass and aluminum facade helps to link it to the outside by revealing some of what’s going on inside and equally, allows those inside to see out. Town-gown relations can often be tense, including in NYC, and this facility avoided being a fortress or athletic ivory tower.

Next, check out our archive of NYC Neighborhood Guides and The Top 10 Secrets of NYC’s Inwood Hill ParkContact the author @Jeff_Reuben