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The Radio Tower and Hotel


New York City, New York, United States

September 2022


Winy Maas (Lead architect)


Stonehill Taylor (Architect of Record), WORKSHOP APD (Interior Architect), GACE consulting engineers dpc (Structural Engineer), CANY Technical Services, LCC (Facade Engineer), Cosentini Associates (Building Systems


Youngwoo & Associates


Ossip van Duivenbode


The building program provides an answer to the area’s need for a diverse range of hotel rooms, workspaces, event spaces and retail units, as well as high-quality outdoor space. Even though the neighborhood is the fifth largest in New York City, Radio Hotel is the first-ever full-service hotel to open in the area. It serves as an important hub for those travelling for conferences hosted by the Yeshiva University and the New York Presbyterian Hospital, both of which are located nearby. The building is set back from Amsterdam Avenue to provide a landscaped hotel arrival which flows into an 8,000 square foot courtyard. The hotel is the central anchor of the mixed-use development, which includes a Santo Domingo-inspired restaurant, 10,000 sq. ft. of dedicated event space on the 12th floor offering locals to host weddings and other parties, 175,000 sq. ft. of office and retail space, and a rooftop lounge with 360° panoramic views. The hotel’s interior design takes the exterior as its inspiration, matching the brightly-coloured bathrooms to the colors of the blocks.
The architecture expresses the different programmatic components in geometry and color. The stacked shape has the added benefit of providing multiple outdoor terraces, with every block having its own outdoor space on the roof of the block below. Ceramic brick was chosen as a cladding material to reference the many pre-war brick buildings in the neighborhood creating continuity in the streetscape, while giving the building a warm and welcoming character.


Radio Tower and Hotel is a new mixed-use high-rise in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood. Located on a flat stretch of Amsterdam Avenue, on the site of a former gas station, the 23-storey building combines a 221-room hotel, retail, and office functions distributed over 213,666 ft². The building with an L-shaped footprint sits on a prominent corner plot, overlooking Highbridge Park. Its massing rises from 180th Street toward 181st Street to leverage open views toward lower Manhattan and Queens while providing a landmark gateway at the Washington Bridge connection to the Bronx.
Creating a tower in this location asked for a sensitive approach, respecting the area’s history, mix of incomes and backgrounds. So, from the beginning, the project set out to serve the community first. The project’s design philosophy and program were articulated in consultancy session with local community representatives, addressing the lack of amenities, hotel options and publicly accessible high-quality outdoor space for the community.

Architecturally, the design can be seen as a condensation of the characteristics unique to Washington Heights’ existing urban fabric. The building is composed of a stack of blocks that match the size of the largely six stories pre-war brick buildings in this part of upper Manhattan, clad in eight different colors of glazed brick. It creates a vertical village without the overwhelming effect that many larger developments have. The building’s bright colors are a further nod to this part of the city, referencing the shopfronts of the vibrant neighborhood. The brightest colors are found on the upper blocks, while more muted colors greet visitors at street level.


The project has had a positive impact on the community, with seventy percent of the employees at the hotel and restaurant being from the neighborhood. The restaurant has become a popular place among locals, from individuals to families, enjoying dinners or celebrating birthday parties. The courtyard is frequently used to host community events, such as Latin American Heritage Month which hosted local businesses, from a Dominican tattoo artist to a hairdresser. Room rates are below asking prices of Downtown Manhattan hotels, making it an affordable stay and a great option for families on a budget.

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