New York City Bicycle Tour of Architecture

Would you like to explore New York City?

Before the “BIKE NEW YORK 2024” event on May 5th, we’ll bring you content to enjoy the city of New York.When you hear New York, what comes to mind first is probably the cityscape of Manhattan, isn’t it?This time, we’ll introduce you to architecture around the city by bicycle, presented by art writer Taka Kawachi,who has lived in New York for about 25 years and led a life inseparable from cycling.
The scale is truly impressive, as expected of NYC!

When you think of New York’s famous buildings, the Empire State Building immediately comes to mind, but I recommend the 77-story Chrysler Building that stands near Grand Central Station. It was completed in 1931 during the construction boom of skyscrapers. The sophisticated art deco design and the beautiful reflection of light from the stainless steel spire always captivate me. Since the building was originally constructed as a company building for an automobile manufacturer, the building’s decoration and materials incorporate automotive features throughout.

If you head straight west from this building, you will arrive at a relatively new commercial area called Hudson Yards. The symbolic building here is “The Vessel,” and it was designed by Thomas Hatherwick, a British architect who is also known for his work on the Azabudai Hills building in Tokyo, , which became a hot topic of conversation. It is a 60-meter-tall, Impressive art structure that resembles a beehive and consists only of stairs and landings.

If you go straight south from Hudson Yards, you will arrive at the Chelsea district, which I mentioned in the art section. This area is famous for its rows of innovative high-rise buildings, and one of the most notable would be the IAC Building, an office building designed by Frank Gehry that catches the eye with its undulating curves and elegant facade of translucent glass. Also nearby is the 23-story high-rise condominium “100 Eleventh Avenue.” This futuristic building, intricately covered with mosaic-like glass windows, was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. In this way, today’s Chelsea is a treasure trove of fabulous architecture that is irresistible for architecture lovers.

Viewing two buildings from across the Hudson River.

One World Trade Center, a skyscraper built on the site of the World Trade Center (Ground Zero) that collapsed in the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, has become a new landmark in New York since its opening in 2014. At 1,776 feet, same number with the year of American independence and it is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. There is an observation deck on the top floor from which you can see not only a panoramic view of Manhattan, but also views far into the distance. It is a very popular spot with a great view.

Nearby the skyscraper is the “Oculus,” a $4 billion shopping center and RATH train station. The shape is reminiscent of the skeleton of a bird when it spreads its wings, and it was designed by the Spanish master Sandigo Calatrava. Then if you have time to spare and energy to pedal, be sure to stop by the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

Station interior lined with tenants on both sides (World Trade Center Station).

🚲Today’s course

Text_ Taka Kawachi


Taka Kawachi
Art Writer
After graduating from high school, he studied in San Francisco. Then he moved to New York, where he curated many exhibitions and edited books. Returned to Japan in 2011 after living in the United States for 30 years. He has written books about art and photography based on his experiences abroad, including “The Entrance to Art” (Ota Publishing) and “Artists” (Akatsuki Press). From his days in New York to the present day, bicycle transportation has been the basis of his daily life.