Dubbed the world’s “first vertical commercial film, television and creative studio,” the seven-story building in Astoria, Queens, is expected to house 11 sound stages upon its completion in late 2023.
The project is backed by Manhattan-based real estate developer Wildflower, alongside New York-born De Niro and the actor’s long-time collaborator, producer Jane Rosenthal. De Niro’s son Raphael, a real estate broker, is also involved in the project, having presented plans to New York’s Department of City Planning at a hearing last June.
A waterfront promenade will be opened to the public. Credit: Wildflower Ltd./Bjarke Ingels Group/SYNOSIS
Though Queens is home to production facilities like Kaufman Astoria Studios and Silvercup Studios, which has produced shows like “30 Rock” and “Sex and the City,” New York is considered secondary to Hollywood when it comes to big-budget movies. In a bid to draw business away from LA, Wildflower promises that its new studios will combine the “collaborative environment of a Hollywood-style studio with the latest in digital production capability.”
In a press statement, BIG founder and creative director Bjarke Ingels said the studio would help “bring film production back” to the East Coast.
“While New York City is no stranger to being the star of many visual stories — the city effectively a character in itself — this … complex marks a new chapter in the city’s ability to create the stories of our future,” the architect added.
Wildflower meanwhile believes the project will generate “well over 1,000” permanent new jobs.
Concrete panels on the structure’s exterior will create what the architects called “an animated effect” as the sun moves through the sky. Credit: Wildflower Ltd./Bjarke Ingels Group/SYNOSIS
Concrete panels on the structure’s exterior will be set at different angles, creating what the architects called “an animated effect” as the sun moves through the sky. Elsewhere, the design features cafes, offices, lounges and a roof covered in 150,000 square feet of solar panels.
Wildflower Studios’ managing partner, Adam Gordon, said in a statement: “We are determined to create a world-class content creation campus in Queens. It speaks to telling stories in all forms; streaming, AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality) and gaming, with a building design that looks toward the future.”