Wildflower Studios: the New York film studio supported by Robert De Niro gets the green light

Written by Oscar Holland, CNN

A sprawling $600 million movie studio headed by Hollywood star Robert De Niro has been given the green light by New York planning authorities, according to the architects behind the complex.
More than two years after the plans were unveiled, construction work on the 775,000-square-foot Wildflower Studios can now begin after the project received approval from the New York Department of Buildings, design firm Bjarke Ingels said. Group (BIG) in a press release. .

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 when completed in late 2023.

The project is backed by Manhattan-based real estate developer Wildflower, alongside New York-born De Niro and the actor’s longtime collaborator, producer Jane Rosenthal. De Niro’s son Raphael, a real estate broker, is also involved in the project, having presented plans to the New York City Planning Department at a hearing last June.

A seafront promenade will be open to the public. Credit: Wildflower Ltd./Bjarke Ingels Group/SYNOSIS

Although Queens is home to production facilities like Kaufman Astoria Studios and Silvercup Studios, which produced shows like “30 Rock” and “Sex and the City,” New York is considered secondary to Hollywood when it comes to shows. big budget movies. In a bid to move business away from Los Angeles, Wildflower promises its new studios will combine “the collaborative environment of a Hollywood-style studio with the latest in digital production capabilities.”

In a press release, BIG founder and creative director Bjarke Ingels said the studio would help “bring filmmaking back” to the East Coast.

“While New York City is no stranger to being the star of many visual stories – the city is indeed a character unto 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” new permanent jobs.

Concrete panels on the exterior of the structure will create what the architects called "an animated effect" as the sun moves across the sky.

Concrete panels on the exterior of the structure will create what the architects called “an animated effect” as the sun moves through the sky. Credit: Wildflower Ltd./Bjarke Ingels Group/SYNOSIS

Offering views of the Manhattan skyline, the 5.25-acre site was purchased from historic piano company Steinway & Sons, which will continue to operate a factory next door. A series of digital renderings released last year show the 145ft-tall building set behind a waterfront promenade, which will be open to the public.

Concrete panels on the exterior of the structure will be placed at different angles, creating what the architects called “an animated effect” as the sun moves through the sky. Elsewhere, the design includes cafes, offices, lounges and a roof covered with 150,000 square feet of solar panels.

Wildflower Studios Managing Partner Adam Gordon said in a statement, “We are committed to building a world-class content creation campus in Queens. reality) and games, with a future-oriented building design.”


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