DRAW Brooklyn, AE Superlab & ARUP
New York, NY
The Halo is a proposal to build the world’s highest vertical drop ride in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Washburn was the creator and master planner working with AE Superlab and ARUP to design a novel structure, transparent, lightweight, and iconic, which will bring new perspectives and extreme thrills to millions of visitors while generating over $1 billion to fund a new, world-class Penn Station.
For decades, this city’s biggest developers have proposed public-private partnerships to fix the existing Penn Station in exchange for the air rights to commercial development above. This tired formula has never worked. The HALO breaks the stalemate.
The HALO is mostly steel and air and generates its income by charging tourists $30 each to ride up to the top in one of 11 passenger capsules that go up and down at the perimeter of the structure. The visitor chooses the degree of thrill from with the speed of the drop -- different in each capsule.
Building the HALO is faster and cheaper than building an office building and generates substantially larger and steadier income flows. Best of all, it re-uses foundations from the original Penn Station, so there is no disruption to train operations during construction.
The HALO would produce an estimated gross revenue of $130 million per year, at very low operation and maintenance costs rates. With the right financing tools in place, the HALO could immediately supply more than $1 billion to the renovation of the Penn Station complex—without asking taxpayers to foot the bill. The HALO is an innovative way to align policy, finance and design into a winning formula for New York.