In a milestone for the City of New York and the film industry-at-large, the Robert Deniro-led, Queens-based Wildflower Studios, designed by BIG, has received a building permit from the Department of Buildings (DOB), signifying that the project’s construction will now move forward.
The project also secured an equity investment from Meadow Partners, and a $600 million construction loan from Silverstein Capital Partners, to continue the construction of the 775,042 gross square foot building. In addition to becoming the first ground-up, purpose-built production soundstage in New York City, Wildflower Studios will be the first vertical film studio in the world.
Adam Gordon, Managing Partner, Wildflower Studios says “It speaks to telling stories in all forms; streaming, AR, VR, and gaming, with a building design that looks toward the future.” Situated under 2 miles from Manhattan in the Ditmars-Steinway neighborhood of Astoria, Queens, the seven-story film, television, production, and creative studio complex will total 775,042 gross square feet and include 11 sound stages, 310 off-street parking spaces, and a waterfront esplanade open to the public.
The approval comes at a time when the film and television industry in New York is growing at a rapid pace – helping to satisfy the overwhelming demand for a large production studio in New York City proper. “We are excited to continue our work with Wildflower to bring film production back to New York City in a way that has never been done before,” says Bjarke Ingels, Founder and Creative Director, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.
“The vertical media production village will be home to storytellers working across all mediums – a three-dimensional hub of collaboration, creativity, and innovation. While New York City is no stranger to being the star of many visual stories – the city effectively a character in itself – this first ground-up vertical production stage complex marks a new chapter in the city’s ability to create the stories of our future.”
Through the strategically-planned mix of interconnected spaces – including a range of stages, production-support areas, open and private offices, fitness room, cafes and lounges – the design aims to facilitate the best creative work possible by providing dynamic spaces for collaboration and connection. On the exterior, the 145-foot-tall building will be clad with precast concrete panels, set at angles that create an animated effect on the building façade as the angle of the sun changes through the day.
Two open-air terraces puncture the façade providing an outdoor connection to the waterfront, natural daylight, and views of the Manhattan skyline. The building’s roof will include a 150,000 square foot solar panel footprint. In addition to providing the first deeply engaging environment for filmed entertainment content of its kind in New York City, the state-of-the-art facility is projected to create more than 1,000 daily union jobs.
The construction of Wildflower Studios is expected to complete in late 2023. Wildflower Studio’s partners include Adam Gordon and Matthew Dicker of Wildflower Ltd.; Robert De Niro, Raphael De Niro, and Bjarke Ingels of BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group. Source by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.
- Location: New York City, USA
- Architect: BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group
- Partner-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Daniel Sundlin
- Project Manager: Ziad Shehab
- Project Architect: Tracey Coffin
- Interior Lead: Francesca Portesine
- Project Designer: Alvaro Velosa
- Project Team: Ace Nguyen, Adam Poole, Agne Rapkeviciute, Alejandra Cortes, Bell Cai, Ben Caldwell, Bryan Hardin, Casey Tucker, David Iseri, Deb Campbell, Elnaz Rafati, Emmett Walker, Fernando Longhi Pereira da Silva, Florencia Kratsman, Giovanni Simioni, Greg Pray, Jacob Karasik, Jamie Maslyn Larson, Julie Kaufman, Kevin Pham, Kig Veerasunthorn, Linqi Dong, Lucia Sanchez Ramirez, Margaret Tyrpa, Margaux Thys, Max Moriyama, Nicolas Lapierre, Mher Tarakjian, Oliver Thomas, Ruo Wang, Shane Dalke, Stephanie Bigelow, Stephanie Hui, Stephen Kwok, Thomas McMurtrie, Tran Le, Wesley Thompson, Won Ryu, Veronica Varela, Yushan Huang
- Code: WILD
- Collaborators: Thornton Tomasetti (Engineer), Sherwood Design Engineers (Engineer), Altieri Sebor Wieber (Engineer), Jensen + Tsai (Consultant), Lerch Bates (Consultant), Dot Dash (Lighting Designer), Code Consultants (Consultant), Tectonic, Dirtworks (Landscape Architect), TMS Waterfront (Consultant), Buckman Engineering PLLC (Engineer), Shen Milsom & Wilke LLC (Consultant), Cini Little (Consultant), Northern Designs LLC (Consultant), The Slowdown (Consultant), Horizon Engineering Associates LLP (Consultant), Bohler Engineering (Expeditor)
- Client: WF INDUSTRIAL IV LLC
- Size: 760.000 m2
- Date: 14/07/2021
- Images: Courtesy of BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group