Soon we’ll be able to add another to the list: Wildflower Studios.
In July 2019 it was reported that actor Robert De Niro and his son Raphael De Niro entered a contract for five acres in Astoria with plans to build a production studio. They were joined by development firm Wildflower and producer Jane Rosenthal.
Now, roughly two years later, the city has granted the project a building permit and construction can officially begin on this $600 million, 775,000 square foot movie studio.
Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), this seven-story 145-foot-tall building is pushing the roof to the maximum allowable height and is dubbed the world’s first “vertical commercial film, television, and film studio.”
Wildflower Studios will make its home in the industrial five-acre Astoria lot next to the Steinway Pianos manufacturing warehouse, taking up more than half a block. It’s composed of a “mix of interconnected spaces,” including 11 sound stages, production support areas, public and private offices, and amenity spaces such as a fitness center, lounges, and cafes. A series of renderings released show the rooftop will be equipped with 150,000 square feet of solar panels and two open-air terraces. Plus, a connection to the waterfront will be created with an accessible promenade that will be built along Luyster Creek.
The building is lifted out of the flood plain to allow for parking and loading below it. The exterior will be covered with concrete panels set at different angles to create “an animated effect” as the sun moves throughout the sky. Two open-air terraces will pierce the façade providing an outdoor connection to the waterfront and views of the Manhattan skyline, according to Wildflower.
Expected to be completed in late 2023, Wildflower Studios is the first ground-up, purpose-built production soundstage in New York City. According to architects the combination of the studio’s elements will turn the stages into a “self contained creative village with all the logistical, technical, and social necessities to satisfy the needs of the film making industry.”