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Jan.January 24, 2023 10:00 AM

The newest icon of the NYC skyline brings Tishman Speyer’s core values to life

Pictured: Joanna Frank, Amir Sperling, Dominyka Voelkle

Today’s corporate leaders are focused on reimagining the workplace to make it more inviting, healthier and customer-centric. They need look no further than The Spiral, New York City’s new 66-floor skyscraper, which embodies Tishman Speyer’s bold vision for a more connected city.

“This architecturally striking building blends built and natural environments to create a powerfully energizing work spaces for its occupants,” says Tishman Speyer Managing Director Amir Sperling, who has been the lead developer on the project since its inception.

Embracing the Outdoors Allows Creativity to Flourish

The Spiral’s innovative design includes indoor atrium workspaces that connect seamlessly to outdoor spaces. Notably, dedicated outdoor space was integrated as a key differentiator from the beginning. “The idea of introducing access to outdoor space on every floor resonated very early on within the group and became a unifying idea that we knew would forge a structure that was one of a kind,” says Dominyka Voelkle, an associate with The Spiral’s architect, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group. “There aren’t any other highrises where you can go from your office on the 60th floor straight out to an outdoor terrace,” she says, noting that people appreciate access to outdoor space far more than they did two or three years ago.

Inventive landscaping was a priority throughout the project, based on the concept of bringing the High Line up to the skyline, Voelkle says. With that in mind, they tiered the landscape to reiterate The Spiral’s vertical dimension. Ground cover is augmented by a second layer of shrubs, bushes and 14 species of trees; and finally, the landscape is crowned with single-stem trees and a vertical trellis. A booklet of suggested plants was curated for tenants based on the direction of the terrace, to ensure they will thrive in their respective environments. The team focused on recommendations that are friendly to pollinators.

“When selecting the plant palette, we knew there would be a period of trial-and-error in identifying the species that would do best at these elevations, given that a landscape of this size has never been installed at elevations of 300 feet and above,” she says. They view it as a laboratory of sorts, to understand which plant species thrive best in urban environments, including being able to withstand pollution and natural forces like high winds. 

“We wanted to invite interaction with the landscape,” says Voelkle, “The goal was to render the skyline green and evoke the sense of a private garden in the midst of the city.”

Rooted in the Principles of ESG

Sustainable by design, The Spiral integrates the principles of environmental, social and governance (ESG) at its core. It’s on track to be LEED Gold Certified, a goal the team set early in the process. “One of the factors that determines LEED Gold is how the construction site is managed,” explains Voelkle. “In this case, it was a brown site when we commenced so a lot of debris had to be removed and soil had to be cleaned before the construction could begin.”

And that was just the beginning of its sustainable journey. One key area where The Spiral really stands out is through its water management, with a unique design that will allow it to save approximately 4.5 million gallons of water annually. Each of the horizontal surfaces captures rainwater, with the overflow collected in tanks that are distributed throughout the building, pumped back into the irrigation system and fed back into the landscape in the dryer months.

“No raindrop is wasted at The Spiral,” Voelkle says. “Unless it lands in the planter, everything else is collected, stored in the building and then comes back into the irrigation system when it’s needed.”

Fresh air is another priority for The Spiral, which is designed to supply 30% more fresh air than required by code. This focus is just one of the many factors that has earned it Fitwel® Certification, a third-party designation originally developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that confirms a building meets the highest standards as defined by evidence-based public health.


“Tishman Speyer is a trailblazer as one of the founding members of Fitwel’s Leadership Advisory board and the first company globally to commit to using Fitwel as they invest in human health across their portfolio,” says Joanna Frank, president and CEO of the Center for Active Design, which holds the exclusive licensing for Fitwel Certification.

One of Fitwel’s goals is to help companies quantify the people-centric “S” part of ESG, Frank says. “While the ‘E’ is well understood and embraced, the ‘S’ offers an area for innovation as we create consensus around how to measure it. There is a race to quality in Class A space, and tenants are leading the charge in demanding healthy buildings that are designed to optimize for the inhabitants and the community at large.”

Tishman Speyer prioritized a host of features that promote better mental and physical health, from access to daylight and outdoor spaces to indoor natural elements.

“It’s one of The Spiral’s signatures to offer workspaces that ensure tenants feel immersed in elements of nature,” Frank says, adding that while indoor air quality used to be considered a “nice to have,” today it is an imperative.

She says another remarkable achievement is the fact that legally binding carbon offsets are included in The Spiral’s lease agreements.

Inspired Spaces, Connected Communities

While thorough attention was paid to The Spiral’s foundational elements, its aesthetics are equally impressive. The public spaces are designed to be a source of inspiration, with art integrated throughout, including dynamic installations by Studio Drift, Sourabh Gupta and Space Copenhagen. No detail was overlooked: For example, the elevator banks feature seven different types of steel that tell an architectural narrative from the rusted steel in the 10th avenue lobby to stainless steel in the Hudson Boulevard lobby.

The property has attracted a diverse and illustrious clientele that allows the opportunity for collaboration with some of the world’s leading companies. Already high-profile names such as HSBC, Debevoise and Plimpton, Pfizer, Turner Construction, New York Presbyterian and Alliance Bernstein have signed 20-year leases. The building’s scale and volume make it ideal for any company that values open design, says Sperling, citing finance, fintech, technology and law as among the fields drawn to its flexible space. In addition to the prestigious portfolio of tenant customers, innovative companies such as Facebook, Google and Apple, have also moved to the West Side, presenting additional opportunities for partnership.

Amenities at The Spiral were selected to enhance tenant experience and help companies attract top talent. For example, the ZO Clubhouse, perched on the building’s top floor, offers all-day healthy food and beverage selections with bar service in the evening and an inviting lounge for gathering, connecting and re-energizing, all wreathed by sweeping panoramic views of the city. “With all the comforts of a high-end luxury hotel, this space will quickly become a centerpiece of the Spiral experience,” Sperling predicts.

Embracing the flexibility so desired by companies today, The Spiral will offer two full floors; the first being available this February, and the second later this year, both of which offer adjacent flexible workspace through its Studio concept. This unique component allows companies to embrace growth and partnership opportunities by conveniently adding hot desks or private offices. “We wanted to cater to an established enterprise customer with a holistic package of options,” Sperling says. In addition Studio Gather, a bookable conference and events space, will also allow people to use the building in an agile way.

Unlike traditional downtown communities that are office-centric during the workweek, The Spiral was always imagined as an integrated, mixed-use development that embraces the spirit of “live/work/play.”

“It’s exciting to see our vision of The Spiral come to fruition as a 24-hour community, including our goal of fashioning a vibrant dining scene through robust spaces and acclaimed cuisine,” notes Sperling.

The base of the building will be occupied by a coffee shop, a restaurant concept by the Llama San team, and several other retailers. And outside, the neighborhood beckons, as a walkable area among the most desirable in the city, with New York landmarks like the High Line, Little Island, Bella Abzug Park and the West Side running path nearby. Just steps away is a plethora of first-rate bars, restaurants, art galleries, fitness venues, residences and hotels.

“We are dedicated to making The Spiral additive to the fabric of the community,” Sperling says. 

Do these core values resonate with the work environment you aim to foster? Learn more about leasing opportunities at The Spiral today.


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