This morning the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to calendar the postmodern skyscraper at 550 Madison Avenue, designed by Philip Johnson and completed in 1984. The world’s first skyscraper built in a postmodern style was originally known as the AT&T Building, as the tower served as the company headquarters. Sony moved in in the 1990s, giving it the nickname of the Sony Tower.
Last year, the building sold to the Olayan Group and Chelsfield for a whopping $1.4 billion. Their resulting renovation plan, led by Snøhetta, has elicited protest from preservationists who do not want to see changes to the building’s impressive arched entryway. Now that the tower’s calendared, the developers’ $300 million renovation will eventually come up for a landmarks vote by the LPC.
See renderings of Snøhetta’s proposal
Rendering of 50 West 66th Street courtesy of Binyan Studios/ Snøhetta
Of-the-moment firm Snøhetta has revealed their design for a 775-foot condominium tower at 50 West 66th Street, set to be the tallest on the Upper West Side (h/t Wallpaper) The Extell-developed building will feature 127 units and a series of “sculptural excavations” that the architects say are “evocative of the chiseled stone of Manhattan’s geologic legacy.” On the lower levels, the tower will be clad in textured limestone with bronze window frames; its narrower upper portion will have a glassy facade and chamfered corners that create a series of open-air loggias.
More renderings and details
Frank Lloyd Wright/TAA drawing of Key Project for Ellis Island. Credit: The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York)
Ellis Island, well known as the processing center for millions of American immigrants until 1954, has figured heavily in the nation’s history; once the center was closed and neither of its current owners, the states of New York and New Jersey, knew of an alternative for its re-use, the island was offered for sale. Among the bidders for the 27-acre site were a pair of young NBC executives whose idea included breathtaking plans conceived by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright. According to Metropolis, Wright’s idea supported the media execs’ vision for “an entirely new, complete, and independent prototype city of the future.”
So what happened?
Rendering of 125 Greenwich Street, courtesy of March
Shortly after the launch of condominium sales last month, new renderings of 125 Greenwich Street were released Thursday, revealing its imposing height over neighboring Financial District towers (h/t YIMBY). The proposed 912-foot tall luxury condo designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects, the firm behind staggering 432 Park Avenue, features 273 total units, including 190 studios and one-bedrooms. Upon its completion, 125 Greenwich will have the third-highest apartments in lower Manhattan, after the Four Seasons Private Residences at 30 Park Place and nearly complete 45 Broad Street.
Find out more
Rendering of the planned school by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). Source: WeWork via Bloomberg.
Fast-growing coworking brand WeWork has been in the news recently for the company’s rapid expansion into everything from “co-living” to wellness, including a planned move into the former Lord & Taylor department store Fifth avenue flagship building, which will become the company’s new HQ. Now, Bloomberg reports that the $20 billon startup, which boasts offices in 57 international cities, has plans to launch a private elementary school for “conscious entrepreneurship”called WeGrow in a New York City WeWork location next year. The company has even tapped Danish architect du jour Bjarke Ingels‘ firm BIG to design the first WeWork school, which will likely be within the aforementioned new Fifth Avenue headquarters.
More about WeGrow
292-314 Kent. Rendering by Practice for Architecture and Urbanism via Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Update 10/31/17: The Landmarks Preservation Commission did not approve the new plans at the hearing, instead suggesting the architects present revised designs that address how the newly exposed brick will be preserved and how the ground floor will interact with the open space. The Commissioners were divided on the glass topper, with some feeling it appropriately references the building’s arches and others feeling it inappropriately treats the structure as a ruin.
6sqft previously shared the latest round of designs for the three million-square-foot Domino Sugar Factory mega-development in Williamsburg, done by Vishaan Chakrabarti‘s Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU). Developer Two Trees broke ground on the first tower in the Domino Sugar Refinery Master Plan last spring, and the lottery opened for 104 affordable units at the SHoP Architects-designed building, the 16-story 325 Kent Avenue. Now, more new renderings of the complex have been released ahead of an October 31 presentation before the Landmarks Preservation Commission (h/t Brownstoner).
More new renderings this way
If there’s one neighborhood in NYC where new developments face the most challenges it’s Greenwich Village. One of the city’s first historic districts and once home to preservation godmother Jane Jacobs, the low-scale community is arguably the most vocal and steadfast in the city. But it looks like Madison Realty Capital didn’t get the memo, as they’ve tapped starchitect Robert A.M. Stern to design a hulking, 27-story condo tower at 14 Fifth Avenue, just a block north of Washington Square Park, according to NY Yimby. And while Stern’s signature classy, limestone design fits in well with the stretch’s other apartment buildings, the proposed 367-foot height will likely not sit well with locals. However, at this point, the tower is merely conceptual and will still require a public review need Landmarks Preservation Commission approvals.
More looks and details
Closings commenced at the late Zaha Hadid‘s futurist 520 West 28th Street at the end of June, coming in above their original asking prices, and over the summer the curvaceous condo welcomed its first residences. According to a press release from developer Related, now that move-ins are underway, the architects have revealed photos of the fully amenitized interiors, which includes one of the world’s first private IMAX theaters, a 75-foot sky-lit lap pool, a High Line-adjacent terrace and landscaped courtyard, and a fitness center complete with a 24-hour juice bar and plunge pool.
See all the renderings
Rendering of E126 courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group
The concrete, t-shaped residential tower designed by starchitect, Bjarke Ingels and his firm BIG, topped out over the weekend, adding diversity to Upper Manhattan’s usual upright architecture. The East Harlem project at 158 East 126th Street, known as E126, uniquely slopes inward as it rises upward, allowing more sunlight to hit the street. As CityRealty learned, the unusual configuration will provide residents incredible views of the East River and Central Park from a rooftop garden.
Check it out
Renderings courtesy Adjaye Associates
One of the reasons for Ghanaian British architect David Adjaye’s rise to international fame is his work on renowned museums, from Washington D.C.’s National Museum of African American History and Culture to Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art to the recently released plans for the Studio Museum in Harlem. And he’ll now add to that list, again in NYC, but this time the project is a bit on the lighter side. The Architect’s Newspaper reveals Adjaye Associates‘ renderings for SPYSCAPE, a spy museum and interactive experience that will open at 250 West 55th Street on February 16th. Spread over two floors in the office building, the exhibitions will be divided among individually designed pavilions, each one exploring one of the seven themes of spying. This format, according to the firm’s Associate Director Lucy Tilley, allowed them to “challenge the traditional museum typology with a design that straddles the physical and digital worlds.”
More details and renderings ahead