Last month, we reported on the topping out of 53 West 53rd, a skyscraper designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel. The impressive 1,050-foot tall building will serve as a luxury residential condominium and offer its residents views across Central Park and downtown Manhattan. The Real Deal recently sat down with the architect to talk about his new project, and how he predicts it will transform the city’s iconic skyline.
53 West 53rd Street: The Latest Architecture and News
Jean Nouvel’s 53 West 53rd Street (53W53) has topped out in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Rising 73 floors, the 145-condominium scheme is topped by a $70 million duplex, where celebrations were held last week attended by Nouvel, as reported by New York YIMBY.
The latest rendering for Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Jean Nouvel's 53W53 has been released in anticipation for its completion next year as construction reaches the 58th floor out of the proposed 82. Capturing the entire design of the new landmark, the render provides a look to the tapering structure distinguished by its sculptural quality and the three floors of gallery space in the tower’s base adjoining the Museum of Modern Art as part of their expansion.
As 53W53 grows in front of New York’s eyes, the concrete skeleton currently standing forms the basis for the exposed structural system referred to by Nouvel as ‘diagrid’ as the tower’s silhouette is an ode to the iconic buildings that already grace the horizon in New York.
The biggest temptation is to jump right in. There are solutions that come to you. There are images that spontaneously appear. My method is rather to hold back as long as possible, to really imagine it spatially, so to be sure I have something to say.
Award winning documentarian and critic Matt Tyrnauer (director of Valentino: The Last Emperor, Citizen Jane: Battle For The City) has released a new documentary taking a look into the mind of world-renowned architect Jean Nouvel and his design process.
The film, titled Jean Nouvel: Reflections, follows the French architect around the world to visit his most recent works, including the Philharmonie de Paris, Institut du Monde Arabe, Fondation Cartier, Musée du Quai Branly, and Doha Tower and future projects, notably the National Museum of Qatar, his New York skyscraper, 53W53, and the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
In recent years, it's been difficult to miss the spate of supertall, super-thin towers on the rise in Manhattan. Everyone knows the individual projects: 432 Park Avenue, One57, the Nordstrom Tower, the MoMA Tower. But, when a real estate company released renders of the New York skyline in 2018, it forced New Yorkers to consider for the first time the combined effect of all this new real estate. In this opinion article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "On New York's Skyscraper Boom and the Failure of Trickle-Down Urbanism," Joshua K Leon argues that the case for a city of the one percent doesn't stand up under scrutiny.
What would a city owned by the one-percent look like?
New renderings for CityRealty get us part way there, illustrating how Manhattan may appear in 2018. The defining feature will be a bumper crop of especially tall, slender skyscrapers piercing the skyline like postmodern boxes, odd stalagmites, and upside-down syringes. What they share in common is sheer unadulterated scale and a core clientele of uncompromising plutocrats.
If New Yorkers thought that construction during Michael Bloomberg's tenure as Mayor was frantic, then what's coming next might be quite a shock: courtesy of CityRealty, these images show the New York skyline in 2018, when many of the city's current projects will be complete. Produced from building models by TJ Quan and Ondel Hylton as a marketing ploy for Jean Nouvel's 53 West 53rd street which recently (finally) began construction, the images include all of Nouvel's illustrious future neighbors: the "Billionaire's Row" including 111 West 57th Street, 220 Central Park South, 225 West 57th Street (Nordstrom Tower) and One57; new Midtown developments such as 432 Park Avenue, 520 Park Avenue, 425 Park Avenue, One Vanderbilt, 610 Lexington, 15 Penn Plaza, and the Hudson Yards towers; and even the latest financial district towers, 1WTC, 30 Park Place, 125 Greenwich, and 225 Cherry Street.
Jean Nouvel's long-awaited 53 West 53rd Street, also known as the Tower Verre or the MoMA Tower, may finally be ready to move ahead with construction after the project's developer Hines purchased $85.3 million worth of air rights from its neighbors MoMA and the St Thomas Episcopal Church and arranged the $860 million construction loan required for the project.
Originally proposed in 2007, the design has been plagued by problems, including significant delays due to the financial crisis and a difficult approval process which resulted in the building's height being slashed from 1,250 feet to its current planned height of 1,050 feet. However, according to a statement from Hines groundbreaking on the project is now "imminent."
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.