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Soon you’ll be able to experience Hell’s Kitchen from soaring heights — via One Vanderbilt’s immersive observatory, Summit One Vanderbilt, which will include two fully-transparent glass boxes that jut out from the building and overlook W42nd Street for a dizzying but spectacular view. The attraction opens to the public on October 21 but you can already pre-register for early access to tickets. 

Courtesy of SL Green Realty Corp.

Designed by Snøhetta, the observatory will clock in at 65,000 square feet and take up four floors of the $3.3 billion development at One Vanderbilt. It will include an all-glass elevator called Ascent that travels up the side of the building rising up to 1,210 feet. At a slightly lower elevation, 1,063 feet, visitors will find two skyboxes, called Levitation, floating above the street. 

Courtesy of SL Green Realty Corp.

In addition to the views, the observatory will also offer multiple bars and an all-day cafe, led by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events, where visitors can catch their breath. There will also be an immersive art experience designed by Kenzo Digital which is vaguely described in a press release as taking “the canvas of an observation deck” and elevating it “into a transcendent and euphoric experience.” 

Courtesy of SL Green Realty Corp.
Courtesy of SL Green Realty Corp.

The experience was conceived to transport viewers from the ground, to the sky, and back, ending with an outdoor alpine meadow on the upper level of the observatory. 

“In addition to the exciting artistic works at The Summit, Snøhetta has created an elegant interior design that naturally guides visitors through an uplifting experience,” said Craig Dykers, one of the founding partners at Snøhetta. “This culminates with the landscape design of one of the world’s highest gardens at the top of The Summit.”

“We have created a destination that offers an interactive experience that will be remembered for a lifetime with the best, amplified views in all of New York City,” said Marc Holliday, chairman and CEO of SL Green Realty Corp. “Summit One Vanderbilt is awe inspiring, magical and needs to be experienced to be understood.”

For a better sense of what the experience will be like, check out this video.

For a different view of One Vanderbilt, check out the work of local painter Gwyneth Leech, who started documenting the rise of the supertall tower in 2017. Last September, Gwyneth shared an online exhibition featuring 19 paintings of the building’s progression over the years.

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