Edge observation deck, the most anticipated public-facing component of the Hudson Yards megaproject, is finally open. Perched 1,131 feet above Tenth Avenue on the 100th floor of Kohn Pedersen Fox’s 30 Hudson Yards, Edge galvanizes the new mixed-use neighborhood with an attraction unlike any other in New York.
YIMBY got an early tour of the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere, a cantilevering steel structure that protrudes nearly 80 feet outward from the sloped profile of the 1,296-foot-tall commercial office supertall. Rockwell Group designed the interiors that include Peak, a restaurant, bar, and event space operated by hospitality group RHC. Peak will open tomorrow and is accepting reservations. Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group are the developers of the skyscraper, which is the tallest in Hudson Yards and the third-tallest completed building in the city overall. L’Observatoire International designed the light show that will take place this evening and run through April, and also did the overall lighting of the Edge.
Much like the redesigned visitor flow at the Empire State Building, Edge was designed to educate and entertain visitors while they wait for the elevators, making the queue process feel less like waiting in line. As they progress through the lower levels, guests pass through immersive audiovisual presentations that explain the process of creating a modern urban neighborhood from scratch. “This really a story about optimism and the future of cities,” said Melissa Hoffman, principal, studio leader of The LAB at Rockwell Group. “Along with the incredible views, we’re going to take you on an immersive experiential journey that celebrates the thrill of transformation.”
Once inside the elevator, it only takes 52 seconds to ascend to the top. On the ride up, the video-lined walls play an animation that begins with an architect’s sketch of the skyline and gradually becomes filled in and rendered as the car rises.
After arriving at the 100th floor, guests pass through an interior section before stepping outside onto the 7,500-square-foot outdoor platform that juts out to the East. On the northern end of the platform are granite bleachers and stairs where visitors can sit and take in the view to the south of the Hudson River, Lower Manhattan, and the Statue of Liberty. Towards the outermost corner of the platform is the 225-square-foot triangular glass opening that looks all the way down to the streets below. This will certainly be one of Edge’s most popular photo opportunities.
Edge provides views in all directions, including north to the George Washington Bridge, Central Park, the supertalls of Billionaires’ Row; east to the beloved Empire State Building and Chrysler Building, and One Vanderbilt; and south to One World Trade Center and the Financial District, Downtown Brooklyn, Jersey City, and the Atlantic Ocean past the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
The Edge is made of 15 sections that were preassembled in Italy, each weighing between 35,000 and 100,000 pounds. The platform is lined with 3,000 square feet of nine-foot-high glass divided into 79 panels that weigh 1,200 pounds apiece. They were manufactured in Germany and finished in Italy, and were installed with a 6.6-degree outward tilt so people can get a better view down.
Edge officially opens to the public today at 1pm, with access located on the fourth floor of The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards.