Baccarat Hotel & Residences is a 605-foot-tall, mixed-use building located on 53rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenue in New York City. SOM was tasked with designing a destination that embodied the elegance and artistry of Baccarat, the luxury crystal brand founded by King Louis XV more than 250 years ago. Like a honed piece of exquisite glassware, the tower distinguishes itself within its surroundings through its formal restraint and focus on detail. From the exterior, Baccarat Hotel & Residences is a study in contrast. The tower’s east and west elevations—the main structural components of the tower—are sheathed in faceted, jet black aluminum panels, referencing the austerity and minimalism of its neighbor, Edward Durell Stone’s landmark MoMA building. Like a geode, these solid, matte surfaces frame the dazzling, re ective north and south façades. Clad with crystal-clear glass, these surfaces evoke Baccarat’s long history of decorative arts. With varying light and sky conditions, these large glazed expanses appear organic and lively.
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