Yes the Bronx Observation Tower
by Kevin Kennon Architects
The ‘Yes the Bronx’ Observation Tower consists of a raised platform, which stands 176 feet tall, a central access elevator, and two spiraling structural stairways which branch to support the 85 foot square metal and glass enclosure. The tower will be constructed of only recycled materials from the Bronx and is designed according to LEED Standard Gold Equivalent. The proposal is in concert with an ongoing public campaign that began in the Bronx in 2006. The Yes the Bronx movement seeks to encourage positive dialogue, and embrace a renewed, dynamic vision for the borough through fostering the diversity and progress the Bronx possesses.
Visitors to the proposal are invited to ascend the structure, and look out upon the landscapes of the Bronx and Manhattan. Access to the viewing platform above can be gained through two routes. By choosing either of the ceremonial, winding staircases, one ascends slowly, with purpose and determination not only to gain access to the platform, but to observe the changing landscapes of the surrounding areas in slow motion. The direct route up via elevator allows for a speedy change of visual perspective, from participant in the ground landscape to overseer of the land below.
The proposal is sited in a high-visibility location on the Bronx waterfront, thus encouraging public exposure and curiosity about the meaning of the structure and the campaign Yes the Bronx itself. The viewing platform becomes a unifying, and inhabitable rallying point whose impact will hopefully encourage a replacement of outdated negative stereotypes for the area. The public is welcomed gracefully to the site to further explore the surroundings and engage with the people and culture that both inhabit and visit the borough so frequently.
Hostos Community College has committed to run a recycling education center at the base of the tower for New York City school children and tourists. The enclosed space above is envisioned to host cultural and community events, while providing an opportunity to incite enthusiasm about the future of the Bronx among residents, as well as visitors.
The dynamic form and graceful gesture of the public platform resonate with the strength and bold vision that the Yes campaign is evoking throughout the Bronx and New York City.
Primary Materials: Bronx recycled materials, glass, and metal
|Height:||176′ to 200′|
|Observation Deck:||7,500 square feet (85′ X 85′) event space with catering kitchen|
|Tower/Staircase:||10,000 to 16,500 square feet1|
|Cost Estimates:||$1,800 to $2,000 per square feet|
|Estimated Total Cost:||$55-$95 million2|
Design and Construction Milestones
|Construction documents||4 months|
|Interior finish & landscape||6 months|
|1 This could be increased to 20,000 sq ft including landscaping around the tower above ground. The 3500 sq ft for landscaping is the minimum recommended area. Maximum Net Population is an estimated 500 people.2 Includes land acquisition; excludes operating costs|
Planning Yes The Bronx Observation Tower by Kevin Kennon Architects
- Funding sources for YTB Observation Tower: private, federal, state, city
- Land will be owned and maintained by Yes The Bronx
- Tower functions: tourist destination, education center for ecology, meeting and catering facility, art gallery
- Yes will support a foundation (“friends of Yes the Bronx”) for ongoing maintenance of the observation tower.
- Event monies would subsidize operating costs.
- School tours will take advantage of recycling and ecology education center.
This iconic structure will serve as a permanent symbol of Bronx pride and achievement. It will help erase the outdated perceptions of the Bronx while providing a central focus to help unify the diverse groups that make up the Bronx today. This multi-function building will also work to educate residents on ecology and recycling while generating income and notoriety as a first-rate event location.