Most ideas usually end up in the trash but few ideas are inspired by the basket that holds them. A recent discovery by The Real Deal has revealed that the city’s residential tower-of the-moment, 432 Park Avenue, was actually inspired by a Josef Hoffmann-designed wastebasket released in 1905. The revelation came via a talk held last December at the Cornell Center for Real Estate and Finance where Harry Macklowe, the co-developer of the supertall, told the crowd that the repository was an “important touchstone” for the 1,396-foot-high design.
“If you look at it very carefully you see a rhythm, you see a pattern, you see what we call push-pull between negative and positive. So that was very inspirational to Rafael Viñoly and I,” Macklowe said, as TRD reports.
The developer also divulged to the crowd that Whitney Museum starchitect Renzo Piano had been considered for the design of the tower. Apparently Piano wasn’t shy about courting Macklowe for the job; he sent the developer a bottle of grappa in a box that featured a playful sketch of the building that could be. Ultimately, Viñoly was chosen over Piano. “It didn’t work out for several reasons,” Macklowe said.
Overall, the design of 432 Park has been well-received by both architecture critics and the public. As such, during the talk, Macklowe took an opportunity to take a jab at competing supertalls going up in the city, highlighting that 432’s positive reception is likely due to the fact that its counterparts “have not been as attractive.”
On a related note, the above story couldn’t help but make us think of that “Simpsons” episode where Frank Gehry finds inspiration for a new concert hall design after crumpling up an offer letter sent to him by Marge Simpson:
They do say inspiration is found in the unlikeliest of places.
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Neighborhoods : Midtown