When Ben van Berkel of UNStudio first unveiled his vision for Five Franklin Place, the elaborate façade of layered strips offered a dynamic picture of what TriBeCa’s newest architectural creation could be. A contemporary take of the area’s traditional metal facades of the 19th century, the 20 story residential tower incorporated a series of metal bans that became the building’s trademark. The black undulating lines served more than a mere aesthetic as they branched from the building’s vertical plane to become spatial entities – providing balconies for residents, and even dual functioning as sun screens. Yet, as Liana Grey shared with ArchRecord, van Berkel’s artistic vision may quickly be coming to a hault.
More about the status of the project after the break.
The project began construction in the midst of the recession, causing it to be stalled just after it measured 2 stories. Currently, distressed properties specialist Bill Procida of Procida Advisors has been called onto the job to scale down the design. Exactly what is going to be scaled down is unclear, and we’re worried that during this process, the building will most likely lose most of its architectural merit. However, it must be noted that Procida was able to get the financing for the tower back on track. The situation speaks to the dilemma of architecture and keeping within budget – a long struggle that the field has been subject to.
Procida told ArchRecord, “It [Ben van Berkel’s design] was very ambitious. Now, it’ll be more of a traditional building, with brick and glass.”
Now, as early as next year, all 17 residential stories and a ground-floor retail space will be complete. And, we’ll just have to wait and see the effects of the recession on the architecture of the tower.
As Grey noted, “The moral of the story, as most developers are well aware, is that there can be a yawning gap between architectural ambition and money investors are willing to shell out.”