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A few weeks ago, we shared Jean Nouvel’s design for 53 West 53rd Street, a 1,250 foot project that would dominate the site.  Reactions to the project were different across the board as some felt the tower would push New York forward in the architectural world, whereas others did not agree with the scale or aesthetic of the project.  As we previously mentioned, Nouvel’s project had a long way to go before construction, and this week, as Nicolai Ouroussoff reported for the New York Times,  it seems that the City Planning Department has decided to shorten the proposed tower by 200 feet. More about the City Planning Department’s decision after the break. Conceived as a giant spire, the tower’s sleek silhouette and proportions, “particularly the exaggerated relationship between its small footprint and enormous height” would have certainly left an impression on the Midtown skyline.  The top of the tower, with its three uneven peaks, seems to have caused most of the problem.  Ms. Amanda Burden, the city planning commissioner, said that the top did not meet the aesthetic standards of a building that would compete in height with the city’s most famous towers.  Ms. Burden explained,  ”Members of the commission had to make a decision based on what was in front of them,” she said. “The development team had to show us that they were creating something as great or even greater than the Empire State Building and the design they showed us was unresolved.” View more View full description
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